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Sample records for neurodegenerative generalized auditory

  1. Pleasurable Emotional Response to Music: A Case of Neurodegenerative Generalized Auditory Agnosia

    PubMed Central

    Matthews, Brandy R.; Chang, Chiung-Chih; De May, Mary; Engstrom, John; Miller, Bruce L.

    2009-01-01

    Recent functional neuroimaging studies implicate the network of mesolimbic structures known to be active in reward processing as the neural substrate of pleasure associated with listening to music. Psychoacoustic and lesion studies suggest that there is a widely distributed cortical network involved in processing discreet musical variables. Here we present the case of a young man with auditory agnosia as the consequence of cortical neurodegeneration who continues to experience pleasure when exposed to music. In a series of musical tasks the subject was unable to accurately identify any of the perceptual components of music beyond simple pitch discrimination, including musical variables know to impact the perception of affect. The subject subsequently misidentified the musical character of personally familiar tunes presented experimentally, but continued to report the activity of “listening” to specific musical genres was an emotionally rewarding experience. The implications of this case for the evolving understanding of music perception, music misperception, music memory, and music-associated emotion are discussed. PMID:19253088

  2. Pleasurable emotional response to music: a case of neurodegenerative generalized auditory agnosia.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Brandy R; Chang, Chiung-Chih; De May, Mary; Engstrom, John; Miller, Bruce L

    2009-06-01

    Recent functional neuroimaging studies implicate the network of mesolimbic structures known to be active in reward processing as the neural substrate of pleasure associated with listening to music. Psychoacoustic and lesion studies suggest that there is a widely distributed cortical network involved in processing discreet musical variables. Here we present the case of a young man with auditory agnosia as the consequence of cortical neurodegeneration who continues to experience pleasure when exposed to music. In a series of musical tasks, the subject was unable to accurately identify any of the perceptual components of music beyond simple pitch discrimination, including musical variables known to impact the perception of affect. The subject subsequently misidentified the musical character of personally familiar tunes presented experimentally, but continued to report that the activity of 'listening' to specific musical genres was an emotionally rewarding experience. The implications of this case for the evolving understanding of music perception, music misperception, music memory, and music-associated emotion are discussed. PMID:19253088

  3. Enhanced Generalization of Auditory Conditioned Fear in Juvenile Mice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ito, Wataru; Pan, Bing-Xing; Yang, Chao; Thakur, Siddarth; Morozov, Alexei

    2009-01-01

    Increased emotionality is a characteristic of human adolescence, but its animal models are limited. Here we report that generalization of auditory conditioned fear between a conditional stimulus (CS+) and a novel auditory stimulus is stronger in 4-5-wk-old mice (juveniles) than in their 9-10-wk-old counterparts (adults), whereas nonassociative…

  4. Lack of Generalization of Auditory Learning in Typically Developing Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halliday, Lorna F.; Taylor, Jenny L.; Millward, Kerri E.; Moore, David R.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To understand the components of auditory learning in typically developing children by assessing generalization across stimuli, across modalities (i.e., hearing, vision), and to higher level language tasks. Method: Eighty-six 8- to 10-year-old typically developing children were quasi-randomly assigned to 4 groups. Three of the groups…

  5. Tuned with a Tune: Talker Normalization via General Auditory Processes.

    PubMed

    Laing, Erika J C; Liu, Ran; Lotto, Andrew J; Holt, Lori L

    2012-01-01

    Voices have unique acoustic signatures, contributing to the acoustic variability listeners must contend with in perceiving speech, and it has long been proposed that listeners normalize speech perception to information extracted from a talker's speech. Initial attempts to explain talker normalization relied on extraction of articulatory referents, but recent studies of context-dependent auditory perception suggest that general auditory referents such as the long-term average spectrum (LTAS) of a talker's speech similarly affect speech perception. The present study aimed to differentiate the contributions of articulatory/linguistic versus auditory referents for context-driven talker normalization effects and, more specifically, to identify the specific constraints under which such contexts impact speech perception. Synthesized sentences manipulated to sound like different talkers influenced categorization of a subsequent speech target only when differences in the sentences' LTAS were in the frequency range of the acoustic cues relevant for the target phonemic contrast. This effect was true both for speech targets preceded by spoken sentence contexts and for targets preceded by non-speech tone sequences that were LTAS-matched to the spoken sentence contexts. Specific LTAS characteristics, rather than perceived talker, predicted the results suggesting that general auditory mechanisms play an important role in effects considered to be instances of perceptual talker normalization. PMID:22737140

  6. Learning Auditory Space: Generalization and Long-Term Effects

    PubMed Central

    Mendonça, Catarina; Campos, Guilherme; Dias, Paulo; Santos, Jorge A.

    2013-01-01

    Background Previous findings have shown that humans can learn to localize with altered auditory space cues. Here we analyze such learning processes and their effects up to one month on both localization accuracy and sound externalization. Subjects were trained and retested, focusing on the effects of stimulus type in learning, stimulus type in localization, stimulus position, previous experience, externalization levels, and time. Method We trained listeners in azimuth and elevation discrimination in two experiments. Half participated in the azimuth experiment first and half in the elevation first. In each experiment, half were trained in speech sounds and half in white noise. Retests were performed at several time intervals: just after training and one hour, one day, one week and one month later. In a control condition, we tested the effect of systematic retesting over time with post-tests only after training and either one day, one week, or one month later. Results With training all participants lowered their localization errors. This benefit was still present one month after training. Participants were more accurate in the second training phase, revealing an effect of previous experience on a different task. Training with white noise led to better results than training with speech sounds. Moreover, the training benefit generalized to untrained stimulus-position pairs. Throughout the post-tests externalization levels increased. In the control condition the long-term localization improvement was not lower without additional contact with the trained sounds, but externalization levels were lower. Conclusion Our findings suggest that humans adapt easily to altered auditory space cues and that such adaptation spreads to untrained positions and sound types. We propose that such learning depends on all available cues, but each cue type might be learned and retrieved differently. The process of localization learning is global, not limited to stimulus-position pairs, and

  7. Electrophysiological evidence for a general auditory prediction deficit in adults who stutter.

    PubMed

    Daliri, Ayoub; Max, Ludo

    2015-11-01

    We previously found that stuttering individuals do not show the typical auditory modulation observed during speech planning in nonstuttering individuals. In this follow-up study, we further elucidate this difference by investigating whether stuttering speakers' atypical auditory modulation is observed only when sensory predictions are based on movement planning or also when predictable auditory input is not a consequence of one's own actions. We recorded 10 stuttering and 10 nonstuttering adults' auditory evoked potentials in response to random probe tones delivered while anticipating either speaking aloud or hearing one's own speech played back and in a control condition without auditory input (besides probe tones). N1 amplitude of nonstuttering speakers was reduced prior to both speaking and hearing versus the control condition. Stuttering speakers, however, showed no N1 amplitude reduction in either the speaking or hearing condition as compared with control. Thus, findings suggest that stuttering speakers have general auditory prediction difficulties. PMID:26335995

  8. General Auditory Processing, Speech Perception and Phonological Awareness Skills in Chinese-English Biliteracy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chung, Kevin K. H.; McBride-Chang, Catherine; Cheung, Him; Wong, Simpson W. L.

    2013-01-01

    This study focused on the associations of general auditory processing, speech perception, phonological awareness and word reading in Cantonese-speaking children from Hong Kong learning to read both Chinese (first language [L1]) and English (second language [L2]). Children in Grades 2--4 ("N" = 133) participated and were administered measures of…

  9. Driving and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Uc, Ergun Y; Rizzo, Matthew

    2008-09-01

    The proportion of elderly people in the general population is rising, resulting in greater numbers of drivers with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. These neurodegenerative disorders impair cognition, visual perception, and motor function, leading to reduced driver fitness and greater crash risk. Yet neither medical diagnosis nor age alone is reliable enough to predict driver safety or crashes or to revoke the driving privileges of these individuals. Driving research utilizes tools such as questionnaires about driving habits and history, driving simulators, standardized road tests utilizing instrumented vehicles, and state driving records. Research challenges include outlining the evolution of driving safety, understanding the mechanisms of driving impairment, and developing a reliable and efficient standardized test battery for prediction of driver safety in neurodegenerative disorders. This information will enable healthcare providers to advise their patients with neurodegenerative disorders with more certainty, affect policy, and help develop rehabilitative measures for driving. PMID:18713573

  10. Increased Signal Complexity Improves the Breadth of Generalization in Auditory Perceptual Learning

    PubMed Central

    Brown, David J.; Proulx, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Perceptual learning can be specific to a trained stimulus or optimally generalized to novel stimuli with the breadth of generalization being imperative for how we structure perceptual training programs. Adapting an established auditory interval discrimination paradigm to utilise complex signals, we trained human adults on a standard interval for either 2, 4, or 10 days. We then tested the standard, alternate frequency, interval, and stereo input conditions to evaluate the rapidity of specific learning and breadth of generalization over the time course. In comparison with previous research using simple stimuli, the speed of perceptual learning and breadth of generalization were more rapid and greater in magnitude, including novel generalization to an alternate temporal interval within stimulus type. We also investigated the long term maintenance of learning and found that specific and generalized learning was maintained over 3 and 6 months. We discuss these findings regarding stimulus complexity in perceptual learning and how they can inform the development of effective training protocols. PMID:24349800

  11. Adaptive auditory feedback control of the production of formant trajectories in the Mandarin triphthong /iau/ and its pattern of generalization.

    PubMed

    Cai, Shanqing; Ghosh, Satrajit S; Guenther, Frank H; Perkell, Joseph S

    2010-10-01

    In order to test whether auditory feedback is involved in the planning of complex articulatory gestures in time-varying phonemes, the current study examined native Mandarin speakers' responses to auditory perturbations of their auditory feedback of the trajectory of the first formant frequency during their production of the triphthong /iau/. On average, subjects adaptively adjusted their productions to partially compensate for the perturbations in auditory feedback. This result indicates that auditory feedback control of speech movements is not restricted to quasi-static gestures in monophthongs as found in previous studies, but also extends to time-varying gestures. To probe the internal structure of the mechanisms of auditory-motor transformations, the pattern of generalization of the adaptation learned on the triphthong /iau/ to other vowels with different temporal and spatial characteristics (produced only under masking noise) was tested. A broad but weak pattern of generalization was observed; the strength of the generalization diminished with increasing dissimilarity from /iau/. The details and implications of the pattern of generalization are examined and discussed in light of previous sensorimotor adaptation studies of both speech and limb motor control and a neurocomputational model of speech motor control. PMID:20968374

  12. Auditory agnosia.

    PubMed

    Slevc, L Robert; Shell, Alison R

    2015-01-01

    Auditory agnosia refers to impairments in sound perception and identification despite intact hearing, cognitive functioning, and language abilities (reading, writing, and speaking). Auditory agnosia can be general, affecting all types of sound perception, or can be (relatively) specific to a particular domain. Verbal auditory agnosia (also known as (pure) word deafness) refers to deficits specific to speech processing, environmental sound agnosia refers to difficulties confined to non-speech environmental sounds, and amusia refers to deficits confined to music. These deficits can be apperceptive, affecting basic perceptual processes, or associative, affecting the relation of a perceived auditory object to its meaning. This chapter discusses what is known about the behavioral symptoms and lesion correlates of these different types of auditory agnosia (focusing especially on verbal auditory agnosia), evidence for the role of a rapid temporal processing deficit in some aspects of auditory agnosia, and the few attempts to treat the perceptual deficits associated with auditory agnosia. A clear picture of auditory agnosia has been slow to emerge, hampered by the considerable heterogeneity in behavioral deficits, associated brain damage, and variable assessments across cases. Despite this lack of clarity, these striking deficits in complex sound processing continue to inform our understanding of auditory perception and cognition. PMID:25726291

  13. Generalization of fear-potentiated startle in the presence of auditory cues: a parametric analysis

    PubMed Central

    Norrholm, Seth Davin; Jovanovic, Tanja; Briscione, Maria A.; Anderson, Kemp M.; Kwon, Cliffe K.; Warren, Victor T.; Bosshardt, Lauren; Bradley, Bekh

    2014-01-01

    Intense fear responses observed in trauma-, stressor-, and anxiety-related disorders can be elicited by a wide range of stimuli similar to those that were present during the traumatic event. The present study investigated the experimental utility of fear-potentiated startle paradigms to study this phenomenon, known as stimulus generalization, in healthy volunteers. Fear-potentiated startle refers to a relative increase in the acoustic startle response to a previously neutral stimulus that has been paired with an aversive stimulus. Specifically, in Experiment 1 an auditory pure tone (500 Hz) was used as the conditioned stimulus (CS+) and was reinforced with an unconditioned stimulus (US), an airblast to the larynx. A distinct tone (4000 Hz) was used as the nonreinforced stimulus (CS−) and was never paired with an airblast. Twenty-four hours later subjects underwent Re-training followed by a Generalization test, during which subjects were exposed to a range of generalization stimuli (GS) (250, 1000, 2000, 4000, 8000 Hz). In order to further examine the point at which fear no longer generalizes, a follow-up experiment (Experiment 2) was performed where a 4000 Hz pure tone was used as the CS+, and during the Generalization test, 2000 and 8000 Hz were used as GS. In both Experiment 1 and 2 there was significant discrimination in US expectancy responses on all stimuli during the Generalization Test, indicating the stimuli were perceptually distinct. In Experiment 1, participants showed similar levels of fear-potentiated startle to the GS that were adjacent to the CS+, and discriminated between stimuli that were 2 or more degrees from the CS+. Experiment 2 demonstrated no fear-potentiated startle generalization. The current study is the first to use auditory cues to test generalization of conditioned fear responses; such cues may be especially relevant to combat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) where much of the traumatic exposure may involve sounds. PMID:25368559

  14. Generalization of Auditory Sensory and Cognitive Learning in Typically Developing Children

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Cristina F. B.; Moore, David R.; Schochat, Eliane

    2015-01-01

    Despite the well-established involvement of both sensory (“bottom-up”) and cognitive (“top-down”) processes in literacy, the extent to which auditory or cognitive (memory or attention) learning transfers to phonological and reading skills remains unclear. Most research has demonstrated learning of the trained task or even learning transfer to a closely related task. However, few studies have reported “far-transfer” to a different domain, such as the improvement of phonological and reading skills following auditory or cognitive training. This study assessed the effectiveness of auditory, memory or attention training on far-transfer measures involving phonological and reading skills in typically developing children. Mid-transfer was also assessed through untrained auditory, attention and memory tasks. Sixty 5- to 8-year-old children with normal hearing were quasi-randomly assigned to one of five training groups: attention group (AG), memory group (MG), auditory sensory group (SG), placebo group (PG; drawing, painting), and a control, untrained group (CG). Compliance, mid-transfer and far-transfer measures were evaluated before and after training. All trained groups received 12 x 45-min training sessions over 12 weeks. The CG did not receive any intervention. All trained groups, especially older children, exhibited significant learning of the trained task. On pre- to post-training measures (test-retest), most groups exhibited improvements on most tasks. There was significant mid-transfer for a visual digit span task, with highest span in the MG, relative to other groups. These results show that both sensory and cognitive (memory or attention) training can lead to learning in the trained task and to mid-transfer learning on a task (visual digit span) within the same domain as the trained tasks. However, learning did not transfer to measures of language (reading and phonological awareness), as the PG and CG improved as much as the other trained groups

  15. Generalization of Auditory Sensory and Cognitive Learning in Typically Developing Children.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Cristina F B; Moore, David R; Schochat, Eliane

    2015-01-01

    Despite the well-established involvement of both sensory ("bottom-up") and cognitive ("top-down") processes in literacy, the extent to which auditory or cognitive (memory or attention) learning transfers to phonological and reading skills remains unclear. Most research has demonstrated learning of the trained task or even learning transfer to a closely related task. However, few studies have reported "far-transfer" to a different domain, such as the improvement of phonological and reading skills following auditory or cognitive training. This study assessed the effectiveness of auditory, memory or attention training on far-transfer measures involving phonological and reading skills in typically developing children. Mid-transfer was also assessed through untrained auditory, attention and memory tasks. Sixty 5- to 8-year-old children with normal hearing were quasi-randomly assigned to one of five training groups: attention group (AG), memory group (MG), auditory sensory group (SG), placebo group (PG; drawing, painting), and a control, untrained group (CG). Compliance, mid-transfer and far-transfer measures were evaluated before and after training. All trained groups received 12 x 45-min training sessions over 12 weeks. The CG did not receive any intervention. All trained groups, especially older children, exhibited significant learning of the trained task. On pre- to post-training measures (test-retest), most groups exhibited improvements on most tasks. There was significant mid-transfer for a visual digit span task, with highest span in the MG, relative to other groups. These results show that both sensory and cognitive (memory or attention) training can lead to learning in the trained task and to mid-transfer learning on a task (visual digit span) within the same domain as the trained tasks. However, learning did not transfer to measures of language (reading and phonological awareness), as the PG and CG improved as much as the other trained groups. Further research

  16. Bat auditory cortex – model for general mammalian auditory computation or special design solution for active time perception?

    PubMed

    Kössl, Manfred; Hechavarria, Julio; Voss, Cornelia; Schaefer, Markus; Vater, Marianne

    2015-03-01

    Audition in bats serves passive orientation, alerting functions and communication as it does in other vertebrates. In addition, bats have evolved echolocation for orientation and prey detection and capture. This put a selective pressure on the auditory system in regard to echolocation-relevant temporal computation and frequency analysis. The present review attempts to evaluate in which respect the processing modules of bat auditory cortex (AC) are a model for typical mammalian AC function or are designed for echolocation-unique purposes. We conclude that, while cortical area arrangement and cortical frequency processing does not deviate greatly from that of other mammals, the echo delay time-sensitive dorsal cortex regions contain special designs for very powerful time perception. Different bat species have either a unique chronotopic cortex topography or a distributed salt-and-pepper representation of echo delay. The two designs seem to enable similar behavioural performance. PMID:25728173

  17. Concurrent sound segregation impairments in schizophrenia: The contribution of auditory-specific and general cognitive factors.

    PubMed

    Ramage, Erin M; Klimas, Nedka; Vogel, Sally J; Vertinski, Mary; Yerkes, Breanne D; Flores, Amanda; Sutton, Griffin P; Ringdahl, Erik N; Allen, Daniel N; Snyder, Joel S

    2016-01-01

    The present study sought to test whether perceptual segregation of concurrently played sounds is impaired in schizophrenia (SZ), whether impairment in sound segregation predicts difficulties with a real-world speech-in-noise task, and whether auditory-specific or general cognitive processing accounts for sound segregation problems. Participants with SZ and healthy controls (HCs) performed a mistuned harmonic segregation task during recording of event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants also performed a brief speech-in-noise task. Participants with SZ showed deficits in the mistuned harmonic task and the speech-in-noise task, compared to HCs. No deficit in SZ was found in the ERP component related to mistuned harmonic segregation at around 150ms (the object-related negativity or ORN), but instead showed a deficit in processing at around 400ms (the P4 response). However, regression analyses showed that indexes of education level and general cognitive function were the best predictors of sound segregation difficulties, suggesting non-auditory specific causes of concurrent sound segregation problems in SZ. PMID:26644302

  18. How Challenges in Auditory fMRI Led to General Advancements for the Field

    PubMed Central

    Talavage, Thomas M.; Hall, Deborah A.

    2012-01-01

    In the early years of fMRI research, the auditory neuroscience community sought to expand its knowledge of the underlying physiology of hearing, while also seeking to come to grips with the inherent acoustic disadvantages of working in the fMRI environment. Early collaborative efforts between prominent auditory research laboratories and prominent fMRI centers led to development of a number of key technical advances that have subsequently been widely used to elucidate principles of auditory neurophysiology. Perhaps the key imaging advance was the simultaneous and parallel development of strategies to use pulse sequences in which the volume acquisitions were “clustered,” providing gaps in which stimuli could be presented without direct masking. Such sequences have become widespread in fMRI studies using auditory stimuli and also in a range of translational research domains. This review presents the parallel stories of the people and the auditory neurophysiology research that led to these sequences. PMID:22245349

  19. Utility of an airframe referenced spatial auditory display for general aviation operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naqvi, M. Hassan; Wigdahl, Alan J.; Ranaudo, Richard J.

    2009-05-01

    The University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) completed flight testing with an airframe-referenced localized audio cueing display. The purpose was to assess its affect on pilot performance, workload, and situational awareness in two scenarios simulating single-pilot general aviation operations under instrument meteorological conditions. Each scenario consisted of 12 test procedures conducted under simulated instrument meteorological conditions, half with the cue off, and half with the cue on. Simulated aircraft malfunctions were strategically inserted at critical times during each test procedure. Ten pilots participated in the study; half flew a moderate workload scenario consisting of point to point navigation and holding pattern operations and half flew a high workload scenario consisting of non precision approaches and missed approach procedures. Flight data consisted of aircraft and navigation state parameters, NASA Task Load Index (TLX) assessments, and post-flight questionnaires. With localized cues there was slightly better pilot technical performance, a reduction in workload, and a perceived improvement in situational awareness. Results indicate that an airframe-referenced auditory display has utility and pilot acceptance in general aviation operations.

  20. Categorical vowel perception enhances the effectiveness and generalization of auditory feedback in human-machine-interfaces.

    PubMed

    Larson, Eric; Terry, Howard P; Canevari, Margaux M; Stepp, Cara E

    2013-01-01

    Human-machine interface (HMI) designs offer the possibility of improving quality of life for patient populations as well as augmenting normal user function. Despite pragmatic benefits, utilizing auditory feedback for HMI control remains underutilized, in part due to observed limitations in effectiveness. The goal of this study was to determine the extent to which categorical speech perception could be used to improve an auditory HMI. Using surface electromyography, 24 healthy speakers of American English participated in 4 sessions to learn to control an HMI using auditory feedback (provided via vowel synthesis). Participants trained on 3 targets in sessions 1-3 and were tested on 3 novel targets in session 4. An "established categories with text cues" group of eight participants were trained and tested on auditory targets corresponding to standard American English vowels using auditory and text target cues. An "established categories without text cues" group of eight participants were trained and tested on the same targets using only auditory cuing of target vowel identity. A "new categories" group of eight participants were trained and tested on targets that corresponded to vowel-like sounds not part of American English. Analyses of user performance revealed significant effects of session and group (established categories groups and the new categories group), and a trend for an interaction between session and group. Results suggest that auditory feedback can be effectively used for HMI operation when paired with established categorical (native vowel) targets with an unambiguous cue. PMID:23527278

  1. Musicians show general enhancement of complex sound encoding and better inhibition of irrelevant auditory change in music: an ERP study.

    PubMed

    Kaganovich, Natalya; Kim, Jihyun; Herring, Caryn; Schumaker, Jennifer; Macpherson, Megan; Weber-Fox, Christine

    2013-04-01

    Using electrophysiology, we have examined two questions in relation to musical training - namely, whether it enhances sensory encoding of the human voice and whether it improves the ability to ignore irrelevant auditory change. Participants performed an auditory distraction task, in which they identified each sound as either short (350 ms) or long (550 ms) and ignored a change in timbre of the sounds. Sounds consisted of a male and a female voice saying a neutral sound [a], and of a cello and a French Horn playing an F3 note. In some blocks, musical sounds occurred on 80% of trials, while voice sounds on 20% of trials. In other blocks, the reverse was true. Participants heard naturally recorded sounds in half of experimental blocks and their spectrally-rotated versions in the other half. Regarding voice perception, we found that musicians had a larger N1 event-related potential component not only to vocal sounds but also to their never before heard spectrally-rotated versions. We therefore conclude that musical training is associated with a general improvement in the early neural encoding of complex sounds. Regarding the ability to ignore irrelevant auditory change, musicians' accuracy tended to suffer less from the change in timbre of the sounds, especially when deviants were musical notes. This behavioral finding was accompanied by a marginally larger re-orienting negativity in musicians, suggesting that their advantage may lie in a more efficient disengagement of attention from the distracting auditory dimension. PMID:23301775

  2. Musicians Show General Enhancement of Complex Sound Encoding and Better Inhibition of Irrelevant Auditory Change in Music: An ERP Study

    PubMed Central

    Kaganovich, Natalya; Kim, Jihyun; Herring, Caryn; Schumaker, Jennifer; MacPherson, Megan; Weber-Fox, Christine

    2012-01-01

    Using electrophysiology, we have examined two questions in relation to musical training – namely, whether it enhances sensory encoding of the human voice and whether it improves the ability to ignore irrelevant auditory change. Participants performed an auditory distraction task, in which they identified each sound as either short (350 ms) or long (550 ms) and ignored a change in sounds’ timbre. Sounds consisted of a male and a female voice saying a neutral sound [a], and of a cello and a French Horn playing an F3 note. In some blocks, musical sounds occurred on 80% of trials, while voice sounds on 20% of trials. In other blocks, the reverse was true. Participants heard naturally recorded sounds in half of experimental blocks and their spectrally-rotated versions in the other half. Regarding voice perception, we found that musicians had a larger N1 ERP component not only to vocal sounds but also to their never before heard spectrally-rotated versions. We, therefore, conclude that musical training is associated with a general improvement in the early neural encoding of complex sounds. Regarding the ability to ignore irrelevant auditory change, musicians’ accuracy tended to suffer less from the change in sounds’ timbre, especially when deviants were musical notes. This behavioral finding was accompanied by a marginally larger re-orienting negativity in musicians, suggesting that their advantage may lie in a more efficient disengagement of attention from the distracting auditory dimension. PMID:23301775

  3. Categorization of Extremely Brief Auditory Stimuli: Domain-Specific or Domain-General Processes?

    PubMed Central

    Bigand, Emmanuel; Delbé, Charles; Gérard, Yannick; Tillmann, Barbara

    2011-01-01

    The present study investigated the minimum amount of auditory stimulation that allows differentiation of spoken voices, instrumental music, and environmental sounds. Three new findings were reported. 1) All stimuli were categorized above chance level with 50 ms-segments. 2) When a peak-level normalization was applied, music and voices started to be accurately categorized with 20 ms-segments. When the root-mean-square (RMS) energy of the stimuli was equalized, voice stimuli were better recognized than music and environmental sounds. 3) Further psychoacoustical analyses suggest that the categorization of extremely brief auditory stimuli depends on the variability of their spectral envelope in the used set. These last two findings challenge the interpretation of the voice superiority effect reported in previously published studies and propose a more parsimonious interpretation in terms of an emerging property of auditory categorization processes. PMID:22046436

  4. Uncertainty in visual and auditory series is coded by modality-general and modality-specific neural systems.

    PubMed

    Nastase, Samuel; Iacovella, Vittorio; Hasson, Uri

    2014-04-01

    Coding for the degree of disorder in a temporally unfolding sensory input allows for optimized encoding of these inputs via information compression and predictive processing. Prior neuroimaging work has examined sensitivity to statistical regularities within single sensory modalities and has associated this function with the hippocampus, anterior cingulate, and lateral temporal cortex. Here we investigated to what extent sensitivity to input disorder, quantified by Markov entropy, is subserved by modality-general or modality-specific neural systems when participants are not required to monitor the input. Participants were presented with rapid (3.3 Hz) auditory and visual series varying over four levels of entropy, while monitoring an infrequently changing fixation cross. For visual series, sensitivity to the magnitude of disorder was found in early visual cortex, the anterior cingulate, and the intraparietal sulcus. For auditory series, sensitivity was found in inferior frontal, lateral temporal, and supplementary motor regions implicated in speech perception and sequencing. Ventral premotor and central cingulate cortices were identified as possible candidates for modality-general uncertainty processing, exhibiting marginal sensitivity to disorder in both modalities. The right temporal pole differentiated the highest and lowest levels of disorder in both modalities, but did not show general sensitivity to the parametric manipulation of disorder. Our results indicate that neural sensitivity to input disorder relies largely on modality-specific systems embedded in extended sensory cortices, though uncertainty-related processing in frontal regions may be driven by both input modalities. PMID:23408389

  5. Auditory Same/Different Concept Learning and Generalization in Black-Capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus)

    PubMed Central

    Hoeschele, Marisa; Cook, Robert G.; Guillette, Lauren M.; Hahn, Allison H.; Sturdy, Christopher B.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract concept learning was thought to be uniquely human, but has since been observed in many other species. Discriminating same from different is one abstract relation that has been studied frequently. In the current experiment, using operant conditioning, we tested whether black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) could discriminate sets of auditory stimuli based on whether all the sounds within a sequence were the same or different from one another. The chickadees were successful at solving this same/different relational task, and transferred their learning to same/different sequences involving novel combinations of training notes and novel notes within the range of pitches experienced during training. The chickadees showed limited transfer to pitches that was not used in training, suggesting that the processing of absolute pitch may constrain their relational performance. Our results indicate, for the first time, that black-capped chickadees readily form relational auditory same and different categories, adding to the list of perceptual, behavioural, and cognitive abilities that make this species an important comparative model for human language and cognition. PMID:23077660

  6. Optogenetics for neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Vann, Kiara T; Xiong, Zhi-Gang

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are devastating conditions that lead to progressive degeneration of neurons. Neurodegeneration may result in ataxia, dementia, and muscle atrophies, etc. Despite enormous research efforts that have been made, there is lack of effective therapeutic interventions for most of these diseases. Optogenetics is a recently developed novel technique that combines optics and genetics to modulate the activity of specific neurons. Optogenetics has been implemented in various studies including neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. This review focuses on the recent advance in using this technique for the studies of common neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27186317

  7. A general auditory bias for handling speaker variability in speech? Evidence in humans and songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Kriengwatana, Buddhamas; Escudero, Paola; Kerkhoven, Anne H.; Cate, Carel ten

    2015-01-01

    Different speakers produce the same speech sound differently, yet listeners are still able to reliably identify the speech sound. How listeners can adjust their perception to compensate for speaker differences in speech, and whether these compensatory processes are unique only to humans, is still not fully understood. In this study we compare the ability of humans and zebra finches to categorize vowels despite speaker variation in speech in order to test the hypothesis that accommodating speaker and gender differences in isolated vowels can be achieved without prior experience with speaker-related variability. Using a behavioral Go/No-go task and identical stimuli, we compared Australian English adults’ (naïve to Dutch) and zebra finches’ (naïve to human speech) ability to categorize / I/ and /ε/ vowels of an novel Dutch speaker after learning to discriminate those vowels from only one other speaker. Experiments 1 and 2 presented vowels of two speakers interspersed or blocked, respectively. Results demonstrate that categorization of vowels is possible without prior exposure to speaker-related variability in speech for zebra finches, and in non-native vowel categories for humans. Therefore, this study is the first to provide evidence for what might be a species-shared auditory bias that may supersede speaker-related information during vowel categorization. It additionally provides behavioral evidence contradicting a prior hypothesis that accommodation of speaker differences is achieved via the use of formant ratios. Therefore, investigations of alternative accounts of vowel normalization that incorporate the possibility of an auditory bias for disregarding inter-speaker variability are warranted. PMID:26379579

  8. Auditory models for speech analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maybury, Mark T.

    This paper reviews the psychophysical basis for auditory models and discusses their application to automatic speech recognition. First an overview of the human auditory system is presented, followed by a review of current knowledge gleaned from neurological and psychoacoustic experimentation. Next, a general framework describes established peripheral auditory models which are based on well-understood properties of the peripheral auditory system. This is followed by a discussion of current enhancements to that models to include nonlinearities and synchrony information as well as other higher auditory functions. Finally, the initial performance of auditory models in the task of speech recognition is examined and additional applications are mentioned.

  9. Glutamate and Neurodegenerative Disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeffer, Eric; Duplantier, Allen

    As the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system, glutamate is critically involved in most aspects of CNS function. Given this critical role, it is not surprising that glutamatergic dysfunction is associated with many CNS disorders. In this chapter, we review the literature that links aberrant glutamate neurotransmission with CNS pathology, with a focus on neurodegenerative diseases. The biology and pharmacology of the various glutamate receptor families are discussed, along with data which links these receptors with neurodegenerative conditions. In addition, we review progress that has been made in developing small molecule modulators of glutamate receptors and transporters, and describe how these compounds have helped us understand the complex pharmacology of glutamate in normal CNS function, as well as their potential for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

  10. Sleep in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Iranzo, Alex

    2016-03-01

    Disorders of sleep are an integral part of neurodegenerative diseases and include insomnia, sleep-wake cycle disruption, excessive daytime sleepiness that may be manifested as persistent somnolence or sudden onset of sleep episodes, obstructive and central sleep apnea, rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, and restless legs syndrome. The origin of these sleep disorders is multifactorial including degeneration of the brain areas that modulate sleep, the symptoms of the disease, and the effect of medications. Treatment of sleep disorders in patients with neurodegenerative diseases should be individualized and includes behavioral therapy, sleep hygiene, bright light therapy, melatonin, hypnotics, waking-promoting agents, and continuous positive airway pressure. PMID:26972029

  11. Aquatherapy for neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Plecash, Alyson R; Leavitt, Blair R

    2014-01-01

    Aquatherapy is used for rehabilitation and exercise; water provides a challenging, yet safe exercise environment for many special populations. We have reviewed the use of aquatherapy programs in four neurodegenerative disorders: Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington's disease. Results support the use of aquatherapy in Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, however further evidence is required to make specific recommendations in all of the aforementioned disorders. PMID:25062761

  12. Inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Amor, Sandra; Puentes, Fabiola; Baker, David; van der Valk, Paul

    2010-01-01

    Neurodegeneration, the slow and progressive dysfunction and loss of neurons and axons in the central nervous system, is the primary pathological feature of acute and chronic neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, neurotropic viral infections, stroke, paraneoplastic disorders, traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis. Despite different triggering events, a common feature is chronic immune activation, in particular of microglia, the resident macrophages of the central nervous system. Apart from the pathogenic role of immune responses, emerging evidence indicates that immune responses are also critical for neuroregeneration. Here, we review the impact of innate and adaptive immune responses on the central nervous system in autoimmune, viral and other neurodegenerative disorders, and discuss their contribution to either damage or repair. We also discuss potential therapies aimed at the immune responses within the central nervous system. A better understanding of the interaction between the immune and nervous systems will be crucial to either target pathogenic responses, or augment the beneficial effects of immune responses as a strategy to intervene in chronic neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:20561356

  13. Glycoproteomics in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Hyejin; Zhang, Jianpeng; Chung, Kathryn A.; Leverenz, James B.; Zabetian, Cyrus P.; Peskind, Elaine R.; Jankovic, Joseph; Su, Zhen; Hancock, Aneeka M.; Pan, Catherine; Montine, Thomas J.; Pan, Sheng; Nutt, John; Albin, Roger; Gearing, Marla; Beyer, Richard P.; Shi, Min; Zhang, Jing

    2009-01-01

    Protein glycosylation regulates protein function and cellular distribution. Additionally, aberrant protein glycosylations have been recognized to play major roles in human disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases. Glycoproteomics, a branch of proteomics that catalogs and quantifies glycoproteins, provides a powerful means to systematically profile the glycopeptides or glycoproteins of a complex mixture that are highly enriched in body fluids, and therefore, carry great potential to be diagnostic and/or prognostic markers. Application of this mass spectrometry-based technology to the study of neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease) is relatively new, and is expected to provide insight into the biochemical pathogenesis of neurodegeneration, as well as biomarker discovery. In this review, we have summarized the current understanding of glycoproteins in biology and neurodegenerative disease, and have discussed existing proteomic technologies that are utilized to characterize glycoproteins. Some of the ongoing studies, where glycoproteins isolated from cerebrospinal fluid and human brain are being characterized in Parkinson's disease at different stages versus controls, are presented, along with future applications of targeted validation of brain specific glycoproteins in body fluids. PMID:19358229

  14. Visual Hallucinations in the Psychosis Spectrum and Comparative Information From Neurodegenerative Disorders and Eye Disease

    PubMed Central

    Waters, Flavie; Collerton, Daniel; ffytche, Dominic H.; Jardri, Renaud; Pins, Delphine; Dudley, Robert; Blom, Jan Dirk; Mosimann, Urs Peter; Eperjesi, Frank; Ford, Stephen; Larøi, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Much of the research on visual hallucinations (VHs) has been conducted in the context of eye disease and neurodegenerative conditions, but little is known about these phenomena in psychiatric and nonclinical populations. The purpose of this article is to bring together current knowledge regarding VHs in the psychosis phenotype and contrast this data with the literature drawn from neurodegenerative disorders and eye disease. The evidence challenges the traditional views that VHs are atypical or uncommon in psychosis. The weighted mean for VHs is 27% in schizophrenia, 15% in affective psychosis, and 7.3% in the general community. VHs are linked to a more severe psychopathological profile and less favorable outcome in psychosis and neurodegenerative conditions. VHs typically co-occur with auditory hallucinations, suggesting a common etiological cause. VHs in psychosis are also remarkably complex, negative in content, and are interpreted to have personal relevance. The cognitive mechanisms of VHs in psychosis have rarely been investigated, but existing studies point to source-monitoring deficits and distortions in top-down mechanisms, although evidence for visual processing deficits, which feature strongly in the organic literature, is lacking. Brain imaging studies point to the activation of visual cortex during hallucinations on a background of structural and connectivity changes within wider brain networks. The relationship between VHs in psychosis, eye disease, and neurodegeneration remains unclear, although the pattern of similarities and differences described in this review suggests that comparative studies may have potentially important clinical and theoretical implications. PMID:24936084

  15. Nanotechnology for neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Re, Francesca; Gregori, Maria; Masserini, Massimo

    2012-09-01

    The efficacy, cellular uptake and specific transport of drugs and/or imaging agents to target organs, tissues and cells are common issues in the diagnosis and treatment of different disorders. In the case of neurodegenerative diseases, they represent complex problems, since brain targeting remains a still unsolved challenge in pharmacology, due to the presence of the blood-brain barrier, a tightly packed layer of endothelial cells that prevents unwanted substances to enter the brain. Engineered nanomaterials, objects with dimensions of 1-100 nm, are providing interesting biomedical tools potentially able to solve these problems, thanks to their physico-chemical features and to the possibility of multi-functionalization, allowing to confer them different features at the same time, including the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. This review focuses on the state-of-the-art of nanomaterials suitable for therapy and diagnostic imaging of the most common neurodegenerative disorders, as well as for neuroprotection and neuronal tissue regeneration. Finally, their potential neurotoxicity is discussed, and future nanotechnological approaches are described. PMID:22261367

  16. Auditory object cognition in dementia.

    PubMed

    Goll, Johanna C; Kim, Lois G; Hailstone, Julia C; Lehmann, Manja; Buckley, Aisling; Crutch, Sebastian J; Warren, Jason D

    2011-07-01

    The cognition of nonverbal sounds in dementia has been relatively little explored. Here we undertook a systematic study of nonverbal sound processing in patient groups with canonical dementia syndromes comprising clinically diagnosed typical amnestic Alzheimer's disease (AD; n=21), progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA; n=5), logopenic progressive aphasia (LPA; n=7) and aphasia in association with a progranulin gene mutation (GAA; n=1), and in healthy age-matched controls (n=20). Based on a cognitive framework treating complex sounds as 'auditory objects', we designed a novel neuropsychological battery to probe auditory object cognition at early perceptual (sub-object), object representational (apperceptive) and semantic levels. All patients had assessments of peripheral hearing and general neuropsychological functions in addition to the experimental auditory battery. While a number of aspects of auditory object analysis were impaired across patient groups and were influenced by general executive (working memory) capacity, certain auditory deficits had some specificity for particular dementia syndromes. Patients with AD had a disproportionate deficit of auditory apperception but preserved timbre processing. Patients with PNFA had salient deficits of timbre and auditory semantic processing, but intact auditory size and apperceptive processing. Patients with LPA had a generalised auditory deficit that was influenced by working memory function. In contrast, the patient with GAA showed substantial preservation of auditory function, but a mild deficit of pitch direction processing and a more severe deficit of auditory apperception. The findings provide evidence for separable stages of auditory object analysis and separable profiles of impaired auditory object cognition in different dementia syndromes. PMID:21689671

  17. Targeting autophagy in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Vidal, René L; Matus, Soledad; Bargsted, Leslie; Hetz, Claudio

    2014-11-01

    The most prevalent neurodegenerative disorders involve protein misfolding and the aggregation of specific proteins. Autophagy is becoming an attractive target to treat neurodegenerative disorders through the selective degradation of abnormally folded proteins by the lysosomal pathway. However, accumulating evidence indicates that autophagy impairment at different regulatory steps may contribute to the neurodegenerative process. Thus, a complex scenario is emerging where autophagy may play a dual role in neurodegenerative diseases by causing the downstream effect of promoting the degradation of misfolded proteins and an upstream effect where its deregulation perturbs global proteostasis, contributing to disease progression. Challenges in the future development of therapeutic strategies to target the autophagy pathway are discussed. PMID:25270767

  18. Role of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative diseases (Review).

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei-Wei; Zhang, Xia; Huang, Wen-Juan

    2016-04-01

    Neurodegeneration is a phenomenon that occurs in the central nervous system through the hallmarks associating the loss of neuronal structure and function. Neurodegeneration is observed after viral insult and mostly in various so-called 'neurodegenerative diseases', generally observed in the elderly, such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that negatively affect mental and physical functioning. Causative agents of neurodegeneration have yet to be identified. However, recent data have identified the inflammatory process as being closely linked with multiple neurodegenerative pathways, which are associated with depression, a consequence of neurodegenerative disease. Accordingly, pro‑inflammatory cytokines are important in the pathophysiology of depression and dementia. These data suggest that the role of neuroinflammation in neurodegeneration must be fully elucidated, since pro‑inflammatory agents, which are the causative effects of neuroinflammation, occur widely, particularly in the elderly in whom inflammatory mechanisms are linked to the pathogenesis of functional and mental impairments. In this review, we investigated the role played by the inflammatory process in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26935478

  19. Role of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative diseases (Review)

    PubMed Central

    CHEN, WEI-WEI; ZHANG, XIA; HUANG, WEN-JUAN

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegeneration is a phenomenon that occurs in the central nervous system through the hallmarks associating the loss of neuronal structure and function. Neurodegeneration is observed after viral insult and mostly in various so-called 'neurodegenerative diseases', generally observed in the elderly, such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that negatively affect mental and physical functioning. Causative agents of neurodegeneration have yet to be identified. However, recent data have identified the inflammatory process as being closely linked with multiple neurodegenerative pathways, which are associated with depression, a consequence of neurodegenerative disease. Accordingly, pro-inflammatory cytokines are important in the pathophysiology of depression and dementia. These data suggest that the role of neuroinflammation in neurodegeneration must be fully elucidated, since pro-inflammatory agents, which are the causative effects of neuroinflammation, occur widely, particularly in the elderly in whom inflammatory mechanisms are linked to the pathogenesis of functional and mental impairments. In this review, we investigated the role played by the inflammatory process in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26935478

  20. DNA damage in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Coppedè, Fabio; Migliore, Lucia

    2015-06-01

    Following the observation of increased oxidative DNA damage in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA extracted from post-mortem brain regions of patients affected by neurodegenerative diseases, the last years of the previous century and the first decade of the present one have been largely dedicated to the search of markers of DNA damage in neuronal samples and peripheral tissues of patients in early, intermediate or late stages of neurodegeneration. Those studies allowed to demonstrate that oxidative DNA damage is one of the earliest detectable events in neurodegeneration, but also revealed cytogenetic damage in neurodegenerative conditions, such as for example a tendency towards chromosome 21 malsegregation in Alzheimer's disease. As it happens for many neurodegenerative risk factors the question of whether DNA damage is cause or consequence of the neurodegenerative process is still open, and probably both is true. The research interest in markers of oxidative stress was shifted, in recent years, towards the search of epigenetic biomarkers of neurodegenerative disorders, following the accumulating evidence of a substantial contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to learning, memory processes, behavioural disorders and neurodegeneration. Increasing evidence is however linking DNA damage and repair with epigenetic phenomena, thereby opening the way to a very attractive and timely research topic in neurodegenerative diseases. We will address those issues in the context of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, which represent three of the most common neurodegenerative pathologies in humans. PMID:26255941

  1. Oxidative Stress in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Niedzielska, Ewa; Smaga, Irena; Gawlik, Maciej; Moniczewski, Andrzej; Stankowicz, Piotr; Pera, Joanna; Filip, Małgorzata

    2016-08-01

    The pathophysiologies of neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease (PD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD), are far from being fully explained. Oxidative stress (OS) has been proposed as one factor that plays a potential role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. Clinical and preclinical studies indicate that neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by higher levels of OS biomarkers and by lower levels of antioxidant defense biomarkers in the brain and peripheral tissues. In this article, we review the current knowledge regarding the involvement of OS in neurodegenerative diseases, based on clinical trials and animal studies. In addition, we analyze the effects of the drug-induced modulation of oxidative balance, and we explore pharmacotherapeutic strategies for OS reduction. PMID:26198567

  2. Auditory Channel Problems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mann, Philip H.; Suiter, Patricia A.

    This teacher's guide contains a list of general auditory problem areas where students have the following problems: (a) inability to find or identify source of sound; (b) difficulty in discriminating sounds of words and letters; (c) difficulty with reproducing pitch, rhythm, and melody; (d) difficulty in selecting important from unimportant sounds;…

  3. Depressive symptoms in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Baquero, Miquel; Martín, Nuria

    2015-01-01

    Depressive symptoms are very common in chronic conditions. This is true so for neurodegenerative diseases. A number of patients with cognitive decline and dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal degeneration amongst other entities, experience depressive symptoms in greater or lesser grade at some point during the course of the illness. Depressive symptoms have a particular significance in neurological disorders, specially in neurodegenerative diseases, because brain, mind, behavior and mood relationship. A number of patients may develop depressive symptoms in early stages of the neurologic disease, occurring without clear presence of cognitive decline with only mild cognitive deterioration. Classically, depression constitutes a reliable diagnostic challenge in this setting. However, actually we can recognize and evaluate depressive, cognitive or motor symptoms of neurodegenerative disease in order to establish their clinical significance and to plan some therapeutic strategies. Depressive symptoms can appear also lately, when the neurodegenerative disease is fully developed. The presence of depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms have a negative impact on the quality-of-life of patients and caregivers. Besides, patients with depressive symptoms also tend to further decrease function and reduce cognitive abilities and also uses to present more affected clinical status, compared with patients without depression. Depressive symptoms are treatable. Early detection of depressive symptoms is very important in patients with neurodegenerative disorders, in order to initiate the most adequate treatment. We review in this paper the main neurodegenerative diseases, focusing in depressive symptoms of each other entities and current recommendations of management and treatment. PMID:26301229

  4. Depressive symptoms in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Baquero, Miquel; Martín, Nuria

    2015-08-16

    Depressive symptoms are very common in chronic conditions. This is true so for neurodegenerative diseases. A number of patients with cognitive decline and dementia due to Alzheimer's disease and related conditions like Parkinson's disease, Lewy body disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal degeneration amongst other entities, experience depressive symptoms in greater or lesser grade at some point during the course of the illness. Depressive symptoms have a particular significance in neurological disorders, specially in neurodegenerative diseases, because brain, mind, behavior and mood relationship. A number of patients may develop depressive symptoms in early stages of the neurologic disease, occurring without clear presence of cognitive decline with only mild cognitive deterioration. Classically, depression constitutes a reliable diagnostic challenge in this setting. However, actually we can recognize and evaluate depressive, cognitive or motor symptoms of neurodegenerative disease in order to establish their clinical significance and to plan some therapeutic strategies. Depressive symptoms can appear also lately, when the neurodegenerative disease is fully developed. The presence of depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms have a negative impact on the quality-of-life of patients and caregivers. Besides, patients with depressive symptoms also tend to further decrease function and reduce cognitive abilities and also uses to present more affected clinical status, compared with patients without depression. Depressive symptoms are treatable. Early detection of depressive symptoms is very important in patients with neurodegenerative disorders, in order to initiate the most adequate treatment. We review in this paper the main neurodegenerative diseases, focusing in depressive symptoms of each other entities and current recommendations of management and treatment. PMID:26301229

  5. Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Johri, Ashu

    2012-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are a large group of disabling disorders of the nervous system, characterized by the relative selective death of neuronal subtypes. In most cases, there is overwhelming evidence of impaired mitochondrial function as a causative factor in these diseases. More recently, evidence has emerged for impaired mitochondrial dynamics (shape, size, fission-fusion, distribution, movement etc.) in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. Here, we provide a concise overview of the major findings in recent years highlighting the importance of healthy mitochondria for a healthy neuron. PMID:22700435

  6. Auditory system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ades, H. W.

    1973-01-01

    The physical correlations of hearing, i.e. the acoustic stimuli, are reported. The auditory system, consisting of external ear, middle ear, inner ear, organ of Corti, basilar membrane, hair cells, inner hair cells, outer hair cells, innervation of hair cells, and transducer mechanisms, is discussed. Both conductive and sensorineural hearing losses are also examined.

  7. Auditory synesthesias.

    PubMed

    Afra, Pegah

    2015-01-01

    Synesthesia is experienced when sensory stimulation of one sensory modality (the inducer) elicits an involuntary or automatic sensation in another sensory modality or different aspect of the same sensory modality (the concurrent). Auditory synesthesias (AS) occur when auditory stimuli trigger a variety of concurrents, or when non-auditory sensory stimulations trigger auditory synesthetic perception. The AS are divided into three types: developmental, acquired, and induced. Developmental AS are not a neurologic disorder but a different way of experiencing one's environment. They are involuntary and highly consistent experiences throughout one's life. Acquired AS have been reported in association with neurologic diseases that cause deafferentation of anterior optic pathways, with pathologic lesions affecting the central nervous system (CNS) outside of the optic pathways, as well as non-lesional cases associated with migraine, and epilepsy. It also has been reported with mood disorders as well as a single idiopathic case. Induced AS has been reported in experimental and postsurgical blindfolding, as well as intake of hallucinogenics or psychedelics. In this chapter the three different types of synesthesia, their characteristics, and phenomologic differences, as well as their possible neural mechanisms are discussed. PMID:25726281

  8. Hyperhomocysteinemia: Impact on Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Meenakshi; Tiwari, Manisha; Tiwari, Rakesh Kumar

    2015-11-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are the diseases of the central nervous system with various aetiology and symptoms. Dementia, Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and autism are some examples of neurodegenerative diseases. Hyperhomocysteinemia (Hhcy) is considered to be an independent risk factor for numerous pathological conditions under neurodegenerative diseases. Along with genetic factors that are the prime cause of homocysteine (Hcy) imbalance, the nutritional and hormonal factors are also contributing to high Hcy levels in the body. Numerous clinical and epidemiological data confirm the direct correlation of Hcy levels in the body and generation of different types of central nervous system disorders, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and others. Till now, it is difficult to say whether homocysteine is the cause of the disease or whether it is one of the impacts of the diseases. However, Hhcy is a surrogate marker of vitamin B deficiency and is a neurotoxic agent. This Mini Review will give an overview of how far research has gone into understanding the homocysteine imbalance with prognostic, causative and preventive measures in treating neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26036286

  9. Incidental Auditory Category Learning

    PubMed Central

    Gabay, Yafit; Dick, Frederic K.; Zevin, Jason D.; Holt, Lori L.

    2015-01-01

    Very little is known about how auditory categories are learned incidentally, without instructions to search for category-diagnostic dimensions, overt category decisions, or experimenter-provided feedback. This is an important gap because learning in the natural environment does not arise from explicit feedback and there is evidence that the learning systems engaged by traditional tasks are distinct from those recruited by incidental category learning. We examined incidental auditory category learning with a novel paradigm, the Systematic Multimodal Associations Reaction Time (SMART) task, in which participants rapidly detect and report the appearance of a visual target in one of four possible screen locations. Although the overt task is rapid visual detection, a brief sequence of sounds precedes each visual target. These sounds are drawn from one of four distinct sound categories that predict the location of the upcoming visual target. These many-to-one auditory-to-visuomotor correspondences support incidental auditory category learning. Participants incidentally learn categories of complex acoustic exemplars and generalize this learning to novel exemplars and tasks. Further, learning is facilitated when category exemplar variability is more tightly coupled to the visuomotor associations than when the same stimulus variability is experienced across trials. We relate these findings to phonetic category learning. PMID:26010588

  10. A generalized time-frequency subtraction method for robust speech enhancement based on wavelet filter banks modeling of human auditory system.

    PubMed

    Shao, Yu; Chang, Chip-Hong

    2007-08-01

    We present a new speech enhancement scheme for a single-microphone system to meet the demand for quality noise reduction algorithms capable of operating at a very low signal-to-noise ratio. A psychoacoustic model is incorporated into the generalized perceptual wavelet denoising method to reduce the residual noise and improve the intelligibility of speech. The proposed method is a generalized time-frequency subtraction algorithm, which advantageously exploits the wavelet multirate signal representation to preserve the critical transient information. Simultaneous masking and temporal masking of the human auditory system are modeled by the perceptual wavelet packet transform via the frequency and temporal localization of speech components. The wavelet coefficients are used to calculate the Bark spreading energy and temporal spreading energy, from which a time-frequency masking threshold is deduced to adaptively adjust the subtraction parameters of the proposed method. An unvoiced speech enhancement algorithm is also integrated into the system to improve the intelligibility of speech. Through rigorous objective and subjective evaluations, it is shown that the proposed speech enhancement system is capable of reducing noise with little speech degradation in adverse noise environments and the overall performance is superior to several competitive methods. PMID:17702286

  11. Developmental neuroplasticity and the origin of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Schaefers, Andrea T U; Teuchert-Noodt, Gertraud

    2013-05-24

    Objectives. Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease, marked by characteristic protein aggregations, are more and more accepted to be synaptic disorders and to arise from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. In this review we propose our concept that neuroplasticity might constitute a link between early life challenges and neurodegeneration. Methods. After introducing the general principles of neuroplasticity, we show how adverse environmental stimuli during development impact adult neuroplasticity and might lead to neurodegenerative processes. Results. There are significant overlaps between neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative processes. Proteins that represent hallmarks of neurodegeneration are involved in plastic processes under physiological conditions. Brain regions - particularly the hippocampus - that retain life-long plastic capacities are the key targets of neurodegeneration. Neuroplasticity is highest in young age making the brain more susceptible to external influences than later in life. Impacts during critical periods have life-long consequences on neuroplasticity and structural self-organization and are known to be common risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases. Conclusions. Several lines of evidence support a link between developmental neuroplasticity and neurodegenerative processes later in life. A deeper insight into these processes is necessary to design strategies to mitigate or even prevent neurodegenerative pathologies. PMID:23705632

  12. Seeing the song: left auditory structures may track auditory-visual dynamic alignment.

    PubMed

    Mossbridge, Julia A; Grabowecky, Marcia; Suzuki, Satoru

    2013-01-01

    Auditory and visual signals generated by a single source tend to be temporally correlated, such as the synchronous sounds of footsteps and the limb movements of a walker. Continuous tracking and comparison of the dynamics of auditory-visual streams is thus useful for the perceptual binding of information arising from a common source. Although language-related mechanisms have been implicated in the tracking of speech-related auditory-visual signals (e.g., speech sounds and lip movements), it is not well known what sensory mechanisms generally track ongoing auditory-visual synchrony for non-speech signals in a complex auditory-visual environment. To begin to address this question, we used music and visual displays that varied in the dynamics of multiple features (e.g., auditory loudness and pitch; visual luminance, color, size, motion, and organization) across multiple time scales. Auditory activity (monitored using auditory steady-state responses, ASSR) was selectively reduced in the left hemisphere when the music and dynamic visual displays were temporally misaligned. Importantly, ASSR was not affected when attentional engagement with the music was reduced, or when visual displays presented dynamics clearly dissimilar to the music. These results appear to suggest that left-lateralized auditory mechanisms are sensitive to auditory-visual temporal alignment, but perhaps only when the dynamics of auditory and visual streams are similar. These mechanisms may contribute to correct auditory-visual binding in a busy sensory environment. PMID:24194873

  13. Seeing the Song: Left Auditory Structures May Track Auditory-Visual Dynamic Alignment

    PubMed Central

    Mossbridge, Julia A.; Grabowecky, Marcia; Suzuki, Satoru

    2013-01-01

    Auditory and visual signals generated by a single source tend to be temporally correlated, such as the synchronous sounds of footsteps and the limb movements of a walker. Continuous tracking and comparison of the dynamics of auditory-visual streams is thus useful for the perceptual binding of information arising from a common source. Although language-related mechanisms have been implicated in the tracking of speech-related auditory-visual signals (e.g., speech sounds and lip movements), it is not well known what sensory mechanisms generally track ongoing auditory-visual synchrony for non-speech signals in a complex auditory-visual environment. To begin to address this question, we used music and visual displays that varied in the dynamics of multiple features (e.g., auditory loudness and pitch; visual luminance, color, size, motion, and organization) across multiple time scales. Auditory activity (monitored using auditory steady-state responses, ASSR) was selectively reduced in the left hemisphere when the music and dynamic visual displays were temporally misaligned. Importantly, ASSR was not affected when attentional engagement with the music was reduced, or when visual displays presented dynamics clearly dissimilar to the music. These results appear to suggest that left-lateralized auditory mechanisms are sensitive to auditory-visual temporal alignment, but perhaps only when the dynamics of auditory and visual streams are similar. These mechanisms may contribute to correct auditory-visual binding in a busy sensory environment. PMID:24194873

  14. Molecular diagnostics of neurodegenerative disorders

    PubMed Central

    Agrawal, Megha; Biswas, Abhijit

    2015-01-01

    Molecular diagnostics provide a powerful method to detect and diagnose various neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The confirmation of such diagnosis allows early detection and subsequent medical counseling that help specific patients to undergo clinically important drug trials. This provides a medical pathway to have better insight of neurogenesis and eventual cure of the neurodegenerative diseases. In this short review, we present recent advances in molecular diagnostics especially biomarkers and imaging spectroscopy for neurological diseases. We describe advances made in Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington's disease (HD), and finally present a perspective on the future directions to provide a framework for further developments and refinements of molecular diagnostics to combat neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:26442283

  15. Omental transplantation for neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Rafael, Hernando

    2014-01-01

    Up to date, almost all researchers consider that there is still no effective therapy for neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) and therefore, these diseases are incurable. However, since May 1998, we know that a progressive ischemia in the medial temporal lobes and subcommissural regions can cause Alzheimer’s disease; because, in contrast to this, its revascularization by means of omental tissue can cure or improve this disease. Likewise we observed that the aging process, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; all of them are of ischemic origin caused by cerebral atherosclerosis, associated with vascular anomalies and/or environmental chemicals. On the contrary, an omental transplantation on the affected zone can stop and improve these diseases. For these reasons, I believe that NDDs, are wrongly classified as neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:25232510

  16. Essential Tremor: A Neurodegenerative Disease?

    PubMed Central

    Benito-León, Julián

    2014-01-01

    Background Essential tremor (ET) is one of the most common neurological disorders among adults, and is the most common of the many tremor disorders. It has classically been viewed as a benign monosymptomatic condition, yet over the past decade, a growing body of evidence indicates that ET is a progressive condition that is clinically heterogeneous, as it may be associated with a spectrum of clinical features, with both motor and non-motor elements. In this review, I will describe the most significant emerging milestones in research which, when taken together, suggest that ET is a neurodegenerative condition. Methods A PubMed search conducted in June 2014 crossing the terms “essential tremor” (ET) and “neurodegenerative” yielded 122 entries, 20 of which included the term “neurodegenerative” in the article title. This was supplemented by articles in the author's files that pertained to this topic. Results/Discussion There is an open and active dialogue in the medical community as to whether ET is a neurodegenerative disease, with considerable evidence in favor of this. Specifically, ET is a progressive disorder of aging associated with neuronal loss (reduction in Purkinje cells) as well as other post-mortem changes that occur in traditional neurodegenerative disorders. Along with this, advanced neuroimaging techniques are now demonstrating distinct structural changes, several of which are consistent with neuronal loss, in patients with ET. However, further longitudinal clinical and neuroimaging longitudinal studies to assess progression are required. PMID:25120943

  17. Metal imaging in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bourassa, Megan W.

    2014-01-01

    Metal ions are known to play an important role in many neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and prion diseases. In these diseases, aberrant metal binding or improper regulation of redox active metal ions can induce oxidative stress by producing cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS). Altered metal homeostasis is also frequently seen in the diseased state. As a result, the imaging of metals in intact biological cells and tissues has been very important for understanding the role of metals in neurodegenerative diseases. A wide range of imaging techniques have been utilized, including X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM), particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), all of which allow for the imaging of metals in biological specimens with high spatial resolution and detection sensitivity. These techniques represent unique tools for advancing the understanding of the disease mechanisms and for identifying possible targets for developing treatments. In this review, we will highlight the advances in neurodegenerative disease research facilitated by metal imaging techniques. PMID:22797194

  18. Individual differences in auditory abilities.

    PubMed

    Kidd, Gary R; Watson, Charles S; Gygi, Brian

    2007-07-01

    Performance on 19 auditory discrimination and identification tasks was measured for 340 listeners with normal hearing. Test stimuli included single tones, sequences of tones, amplitude-modulated and rippled noise, temporal gaps, speech, and environmental sounds. Principal components analysis and structural equation modeling of the data support the existence of a general auditory ability and four specific auditory abilities. The specific abilities are (1) loudness and duration (overall energy) discrimination; (2) sensitivity to temporal envelope variation; (3) identification of highly familiar sounds (speech and nonspeech); and (4) discrimination of unfamiliar simple and complex spectral and temporal patterns. Examination of Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores for a large subset of the population revealed little or no association between general or specific auditory abilities and general intellectual ability. The findings provide a basis for research to further specify the nature of the auditory abilities. Of particular interest are results suggestive of a familiar sound recognition (FSR) ability, apparently specialized for sound recognition on the basis of limited or distorted information. This FSR ability is independent of normal variation in both spectral-temporal acuity and of general intellectual ability. PMID:17614500

  19. Can rhythmic auditory cuing remediate language-related deficits in Parkinson's disease?

    PubMed

    Kotz, Sonja A; Gunter, Thomas C

    2015-03-01

    Neurodegenerative changes of the basal ganglia in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) lead to motor deficits as well as general cognitive decline. Given these impairments, the question arises as to whether motor and nonmotor deficits can be ameliorated similarly. We reason that a domain-general sensorimotor circuit involved in temporal processing may support the remediation of such deficits. Following findings that auditory cuing benefits gait kinematics, we explored whether reported language-processing deficits in IPD can also be remediated via auditory cuing. During continuous EEG measurement, an individual diagnosed with IPD heard two types of temporally predictable but metrically different auditory beat-based cues: a march, which metrically aligned with the speech accent structure, a waltz that did not metrically align, or no cue before listening to naturally spoken sentences that were either grammatically well formed or were semantically or syntactically incorrect. Results confirmed that only the cuing with a march led to improved computation of syntactic and semantic information. We infer that a marching rhythm may lead to a stronger engagement of the cerebello-thalamo-cortical circuit that compensates dysfunctional striato-cortical timing. Reinforcing temporal realignment, in turn, may lead to the timely processing of linguistic information embedded in the temporally variable speech signal. PMID:25773618

  20. Auditory sequence analysis and phonological skill.

    PubMed

    Grube, Manon; Kumar, Sukhbinder; Cooper, Freya E; Turton, Stuart; Griffiths, Timothy D

    2012-11-01

    This work tests the relationship between auditory and phonological skill in a non-selected cohort of 238 school students (age 11) with the specific hypothesis that sound-sequence analysis would be more relevant to phonological skill than the analysis of basic, single sounds. Auditory processing was assessed across the domains of pitch, time and timbre; a combination of six standard tests of literacy and language ability was used to assess phonological skill. A significant correlation between general auditory and phonological skill was demonstrated, plus a significant, specific correlation between measures of phonological skill and the auditory analysis of short sequences in pitch and time. The data support a limited but significant link between auditory and phonological ability with a specific role for sound-sequence analysis, and provide a possible new focus for auditory training strategies to aid language development in early adolescence. PMID:22951739

  1. Electrophysiological study of auditory development.

    PubMed

    Lippé, S; Martinez-Montes, E; Arcand, C; Lassonde, M

    2009-12-15

    Cortical auditory evoked potential (CAEP) testing, a non-invasive technique, is widely employed to study auditory brain development. The aim of this study was to investigate the development of the auditory electrophysiological signal without addressing specific abilities such as speech or music discrimination. We were interested in the temporal and spectral domains of conventional auditory evoked potentials. We analyzed cerebral responses to auditory stimulation (broadband noises) in 40 infants and children (1 month to 5 years 6 months) and 10 adults using high-density electrophysiological recording. We hypothesized that the adult auditory response has precursors that can be identified in infant and child responses. Results confirm that complex adult CAEP responses and spectral activity patterns appear after 5 years, showing decreased involvement of lower frequencies and increased involvement of higher frequencies. In addition, time-locked response to stimulus and event-related spectral pertubation across frequencies revealed alpha and beta band contributions to the CAEP of infants and toddlers before mutation to the beta and gamma band activity of the adult response. A detailed analysis of electrophysiological responses to a perceptual stimulation revealed general development patterns and developmental precursors of the adult response. PMID:19665050

  2. Transglutaminase activation in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Jeitner, Thomas M; Muma, Nancy A; Battaile, Kevin P; Cooper, Arthur JL

    2009-01-01

    The following review examines the role of calcium in promoting the in vitro and in vivo activation of transglutaminases in neurodegenerative disorders. Diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease exhibit increased transglutaminase activity and rises in intracellular calcium concentrations, which may be related. The aberrant activation of transglutaminase by calcium is thought to give rise to a variety of pathological moieties in these diseases, and the inhibition has been shown to have therapeutic benefit in animal and cellular models of neurodegeneration. Given the potential clinical relevance of transglutaminase inhibitors, we have also reviewed the recent development of such compounds. PMID:20161049

  3. Ubiquitin pathways in neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Atkin, Graham; Paulson, Henry

    2014-01-01

    Control of proper protein synthesis, function, and turnover is essential for the health of all cells. In neurons these demands take on the additional importance of supporting and regulating the highly dynamic connections between neurons that are necessary for cognitive function, learning, and memory. Regulating multiple unique synaptic protein environments within a single neuron while maintaining cell health requires the highly regulated processes of ubiquitination and degradation of ubiquitinated proteins through the proteasome. In this review, we examine the effects of dysregulated ubiquitination and protein clearance on the handling of disease-associated proteins and neuronal health in the most common neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25071440

  4. Preventing distraction: Assessing stimulus-specific and general effects of the predictive cueing of deviant auditory events

    PubMed Central

    Horváth, János; Sussman, Elyse; Winkler, István; Schröger, Erich

    2011-01-01

    Rare irregular sounds (deviants) embedded into a regular sound sequence have large potential to draw attention to themselves (distraction). It has been previously shown that distraction, as manifested by behavioral response delay, and the P3a and reorienting negativity (RON) event-related potentials, could be reduced when the forthcoming deviant was signaled by visual cues preceding the sounds. In the present study, we investigated the type of information used in the prevention of distraction by manipulating the information content of the visual cues preceding the sounds. Cues could signal the specific variant of the forthcoming deviant, or they could just signal that the next tone was a deviant. We found that stimulus-specific cue information was used in reducing distraction. The results also suggest that early P3a and RON index processes related to the specific deviating stimulus feature, whereas late P3a reflects a general distraction-related process. PMID:21310210

  5. Tau imaging in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Dani, M; Brooks, D J; Edison, P

    2016-06-01

    Aggregated tau protein is a major neuropathological substrate central to the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), frontotemporal dementia, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. In AD, it has been shown that the density of hyperphosphorylated tau tangles correlates closely with neuronal dysfunction and cell death, unlike β-amyloid. Until now, diagnostic and pathologic information about tau deposition has only been available from invasive techniques such as brain biopsy or autopsy. The recent development of selective in-vivo tau PET imaging ligands including [(18)F]THK523, [(18)F]THK5117, [(18)F]THK5105 and [(18)F]THK5351, [(18)F]AV1451(T807) and [(11)C]PBB3 has provided information about the role of tau in the early phases of neurodegenerative diseases, and provided support for diagnosis, prognosis, and imaging biomarkers to track disease progression. Moreover, the spatial and longitudinal relationship of tau distribution compared with β - amyloid and other pathologies in these diseases can be mapped. In this review, we discuss the role of aggregated tau in tauopathies, the challenges posed in developing selective tau ligands as biomarkers, the state of development in tau tracers, and the new clinical information that has been uncovered, as well as the opportunities for improving diagnosis and designing clinical trials in the future. PMID:26572762

  6. Parkin Regulation and Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Cheng-Wu; Hang, Liting; Yao, Tso-Pang; Lim, Kah-Leong

    2016-01-01

    Parkin is a unique, multifunctional ubiquitin ligase whose various roles in the cell, particularly in neurons, are widely thought to be protective. The pivotal role that Parkin plays in maintaining neuronal survival is underscored by our current recognition that Parkin dysfunction represents not only a predominant cause of familial parkinsonism but also a formal risk factor for the more common, sporadic form of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Accordingly, keen research on Parkin over the past decade has led to an explosion of knowledge regarding its physiological roles and its relevance to PD. However, our understanding of Parkin is far from being complete. Indeed, surprises emerge from time to time that compel us to constantly update the paradigm of Parkin function. For example, we now know that Parkin’s function is not confined to mere housekeeping protein quality control (QC) roles but also includes mitochondrial homeostasis and stress-related signaling. Furthermore, emerging evidence also suggest a role for Parkin in several other major neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Yet, it remains truly amazing to note that a single enzyme could serve such multitude of functions and cellular roles. Clearly, its activity has to be tightly regulated. In this review, we shall discuss this and how dysregulated Parkin function may precipitate neuronal demise in various neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:26793099

  7. Tsallis statistics and neurodegenerative disorders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iliopoulos, Aggelos C.; Tsolaki, Magdalini; Aifantis, Elias C.

    2016-08-01

    In this paper, we perform statistical analysis of time series deriving from four neurodegenerative disorders, namely epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD). The time series are concerned with electroencephalograms (EEGs) of healthy and epileptic states, as well as gait dynamics (in particular stride intervals) of the ALS, PD and HDs. We study data concerning one subject for each neurodegenerative disorder and one healthy control. The analysis is based on Tsallis non-extensive statistical mechanics and in particular on the estimation of Tsallis q-triplet, namely {qstat, qsen, qrel}. The deviation of Tsallis q-triplet from unity indicates non-Gaussian statistics and long-range dependencies for all time series considered. In addition, the results reveal the efficiency of Tsallis statistics in capturing differences in brain dynamics between healthy and epileptic states, as well as differences between ALS, PD, HDs from healthy control subjects. The results indicate that estimations of Tsallis q-indices could be used as possible biomarkers, along with others, for improving classification and prediction of epileptic seizures, as well as for studying the gait complex dynamics of various diseases providing new insights into severity, medications and fall risk, improving therapeutic interventions.

  8. Oxidative Stress and Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jie; O, Wuliji; Li, Wei; Jiang, Zhi-Gang; Ghanbari, Hossein A.

    2013-01-01

    Living cells continually generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) through the respiratory chain during energetic metabolism. ROS at low or moderate concentration can play important physiological roles. However, an excessive amount of ROS under oxidative stress would be extremely deleterious. The central nervous system (CNS) is particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress due to its high oxygen consumption, weakly antioxidative systems and the terminal-differentiation characteristic of neurons. Thus, oxidative stress elicits various neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, chemotherapy could result in severe side effects on the CNS and peripheral nervous system (PNS) of cancer patients, and a growing body of evidence demonstrates the involvement of ROS in drug-induced neurotoxicities as well. Therefore, development of antioxidants as neuroprotective drugs is a potentially beneficial strategy for clinical therapy. In this review, we summarize the source, balance maintenance and physiologic functions of ROS, oxidative stress and its toxic mechanisms underlying a number of neurodegenerative diseases, and the possible involvement of ROS in chemotherapy-induced toxicity to the CNS and PNS. We ultimately assess the value for antioxidants as neuroprotective drugs and provide our comments on the unmet needs. PMID:24351827

  9. Genetic variants associated with neurodegenerative Alzheimer disease in natural models.

    PubMed

    Salazar, Claudia; Valdivia, Gonzalo; Ardiles, Álvaro O; Ewer, John; Palacios, Adrián G

    2016-01-01

    The use of transgenic models for the study of neurodegenerative diseases has made valuable contributions to the field. However, some important limitations, including protein overexpression and general systemic compensation for the missing genes, has caused researchers to seek natural models that show the main biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases during aging. Here we review some of these models-most of them rodents, focusing especially on the genetic variations in biomarkers for Alzheimer diseases, in order to explain their relationships with variants associated with the occurrence of the disease in humans. PMID:26919851

  10. Oxidative stress treatment for clinical trials in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Ienco, Elena Caldarazzo; LoGerfo, Annalisa; Carlesi, Cecilia; Orsucci, Daniele; Ricci, Giulia; Mancuso, Michelangelo; Siciliano, Gabriele

    2011-01-01

    Oxidative stress is a metabolic condition arising from imbalance between the production of potentially reactive oxygen species and the scavenging activities. Mitochondria are the main providers but also the main scavengers of cell oxidative stress. The role of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases is well documented. Therefore, therapeutic approaches targeting mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage hold great promise in neurodegenerative diseases. Despite this evidence, human experience with antioxidant neuroprotectants has generally been negative with regards to the clinical progress of disease, with unclear results in biochemical assays. Here we review the antioxidant approaches performed so far in neurodegenerative diseases and the future challenges in modern medicine. PMID:21422516

  11. [Cellular pathology of neurodegenerative disorders].

    PubMed

    Wakabayashi, Koichi

    2013-01-01

    Common cellular and molecular mechanisms including protein aggregation and inclusion body formation are involved in many neurodegenerative diseases. α-Synuclein is a major component of Lewy bodies in Parkinson's disease (PD) as well as in glial cytoplasmic inclusions in multiple system atrophy (MSA). Tau is a principal component of neurofibrillary and glial tangles in tauopathies. Recently, TDP-43 was identified as a component of ubiquitinated inclusions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. PD is traditionally considered a movement disorder with hallmark lesions in the brainstem pigmented nuclei. However, pathological changes occur in widespread regions of the central and peripheral nervous systems in this disease. Furthermore, primary glial involvement ("gliodegeneration") can be observed in PD and MSA as well as in tauopathy. The present article reviews abnormal protein accumulation and inclusion body formation inside and outside the central nervous system. PMID:23965852

  12. Emotional dysfunctions in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Löffler, Leonie A K; Radke, Sina; Morawetz, Carmen; Derntl, Birgit

    2016-06-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized primarily by motor signs but are also accompanied by emotional disturbances. Because of the limited knowledge about these dysfunctions, this Review provides an overview of emotional competencies in Huntington's disease (HD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and multiple sclerosis (MS), with a focus on emotion recognition, emotion regulation, and depression. Most studies indicate facial emotion recognition deficits in HD and PD, whereas data for MS are inconsistent. On a neural level, dysfunctions of amygdala and striatum, among others, have been linked to these impairments. These dysfunctions also tap brain regions that are part of the emotion regulation network, suggesting problems in this competency, too. Research points to dysfunctional emotion regulation in MS, whereas findings for PD and HD are missing. The high prevalence of depression in all three disorders emphasizes the need for effective therapies. Research on emotional disturbances might improve treatment, thereby increasing patients' and caregivers' well-being. PMID:26011035

  13. Auditory-pupillary responses in deaf subjects.

    PubMed

    Kitajima, Naoharu; Otsuka, Koji; Ogawa, Yasuo; Shimizu, Shigetaka; Hayashi, Mami; Ichimura, Akihide; Suzuki, Mamoru

    2010-01-01

    Pupillary dilation in response to sound stimuli is well established and is generally considered to represent a startle reflex to sound. We believe that the auditory-pupillary response represents not only a simple startle reflex to sound stimuli but also represents a reaction to stimulation of other sense organs, such as otolith organs. Eight young healthy volunteers without a history of hearing and equilibrium problems and 12 subjects with bilateral deafness participated in this study. Computer pupillography was used to analyze the auditory-pupillary responses of both eyes in all subjects. We found that auditory-pupillary responses occurred even in subjects with bilateral deafness and that this response was comparable to those of normal subjects. We propose that the auditory-pupillary response also relates to vestibular function. Thus, assessing the auditory-pupillary response may be useful for evaluating the vestibulo-autonomic response in patients with peripheral disequilibrium. PMID:20826936

  14. Functional neuroanatomy of auditory scene analysis in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Golden, Hannah L; Agustus, Jennifer L; Goll, Johanna C; Downey, Laura E; Mummery, Catherine J; Schott, Jonathan M; Crutch, Sebastian J; Warren, Jason D

    2015-01-01

    Auditory scene analysis is a demanding computational process that is performed automatically and efficiently by the healthy brain but vulnerable to the neurodegenerative pathology of Alzheimer's disease. Here we assessed the functional neuroanatomy of auditory scene analysis in Alzheimer's disease using the well-known 'cocktail party effect' as a model paradigm whereby stored templates for auditory objects (e.g., hearing one's spoken name) are used to segregate auditory 'foreground' and 'background'. Patients with typical amnestic Alzheimer's disease (n = 13) and age-matched healthy individuals (n = 17) underwent functional 3T-MRI using a sparse acquisition protocol with passive listening to auditory stimulus conditions comprising the participant's own name interleaved with or superimposed on multi-talker babble, and spectrally rotated (unrecognisable) analogues of these conditions. Name identification (conditions containing the participant's own name contrasted with spectrally rotated analogues) produced extensive bilateral activation involving superior temporal cortex in both the AD and healthy control groups, with no significant differences between groups. Auditory object segregation (conditions with interleaved name sounds contrasted with superimposed name sounds) produced activation of right posterior superior temporal cortex in both groups, again with no differences between groups. However, the cocktail party effect (interaction of own name identification with auditory object segregation processing) produced activation of right supramarginal gyrus in the AD group that was significantly enhanced compared with the healthy control group. The findings delineate an altered functional neuroanatomical profile of auditory scene analysis in Alzheimer's disease that may constitute a novel computational signature of this neurodegenerative pathology. PMID:26029629

  15. Functional neuroanatomy of auditory scene analysis in Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Golden, Hannah L.; Agustus, Jennifer L.; Goll, Johanna C.; Downey, Laura E.; Mummery, Catherine J.; Schott, Jonathan M.; Crutch, Sebastian J.; Warren, Jason D.

    2015-01-01

    Auditory scene analysis is a demanding computational process that is performed automatically and efficiently by the healthy brain but vulnerable to the neurodegenerative pathology of Alzheimer's disease. Here we assessed the functional neuroanatomy of auditory scene analysis in Alzheimer's disease using the well-known ‘cocktail party effect’ as a model paradigm whereby stored templates for auditory objects (e.g., hearing one's spoken name) are used to segregate auditory ‘foreground’ and ‘background’. Patients with typical amnestic Alzheimer's disease (n = 13) and age-matched healthy individuals (n = 17) underwent functional 3T-MRI using a sparse acquisition protocol with passive listening to auditory stimulus conditions comprising the participant's own name interleaved with or superimposed on multi-talker babble, and spectrally rotated (unrecognisable) analogues of these conditions. Name identification (conditions containing the participant's own name contrasted with spectrally rotated analogues) produced extensive bilateral activation involving superior temporal cortex in both the AD and healthy control groups, with no significant differences between groups. Auditory object segregation (conditions with interleaved name sounds contrasted with superimposed name sounds) produced activation of right posterior superior temporal cortex in both groups, again with no differences between groups. However, the cocktail party effect (interaction of own name identification with auditory object segregation processing) produced activation of right supramarginal gyrus in the AD group that was significantly enhanced compared with the healthy control group. The findings delineate an altered functional neuroanatomical profile of auditory scene analysis in Alzheimer's disease that may constitute a novel computational signature of this neurodegenerative pathology. PMID:26029629

  16. Peptide aggregation in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Regina M

    2002-01-01

    In the not-so-distant past, insoluble aggregated protein was considered as uninteresting and bothersome as yesterday's trash. More recently, protein aggregates have enjoyed considerable scientific interest, as it has become clear that these aggregates play key roles in many diseases. In this review, we focus attention on three polypeptides: beta-amyloid, prion, and huntingtin, which are linked to three feared neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer's, "mad cow," and Huntington's disease, respectively. These proteins lack any significant primary sequence homology, yet their aggregates possess very similar features, specifically, high beta-sheet content, fibrillar morphology, relative insolubility, and protease resistance. Because the aggregates are noncrystalline, secrets of their structure at nanometer resolution are only slowly yielding to X-ray diffraction, solid-state NMR, and other techniques. Besides structure, the aggregates may possess similar pathways of assembly. Two alternative assembly pathways have been proposed: the nucleation-elongation and the template-assisted mode. These two modes may be complementary, not mutually exclusive. Strategies for interfering with aggregation, which may provide novel therapeutic approaches, are under development. The structural similarities between protein aggregates of dissimilar origin suggest that therapeutic strategies successful against one disease may have broad utility in others. PMID:12117755

  17. Amyloidosis in Retinal Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Masuzzo, Ambra; Dinet, Virginie; Cavanagh, Chelsea; Mascarelli, Frederic; Krantic, Slavica

    2016-01-01

    As a part of the central nervous system, the retina may reflect both physiological processes and abnormalities related to pathologies that affect the brain. Amyloidosis due to the accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) was initially regarded as a specific and exclusive characteristic of neurodegenerative alterations seen in the brain of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. More recently, it was discovered that amyloidosis-related alterations, similar to those seen in the brain of Alzheimer's patients, also occur in the retina. Remarkably, these alterations were identified not only in primary retinal pathologies, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma, but also in the retinas of Alzheimer's patients. In this review, we first briefly discuss the biogenesis of Aβ, a peptide involved in amyloidosis. We then discuss some pathological aspects (synaptic dysfunction, mitochondrial failure, glial activation, and vascular abnormalities) related to the neurotoxic effects of Aβ. We finally highlight common features shared by AD, AMD, and glaucoma in the context of Aβ amyloidosis and further discuss why the retina, due to the transparency of the eye, can be considered as a "window" to the brain. PMID:27551275

  18. Amyloidosis in Retinal Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Masuzzo, Ambra; Dinet, Virginie; Cavanagh, Chelsea; Mascarelli, Frederic; Krantic, Slavica

    2016-01-01

    As a part of the central nervous system, the retina may reflect both physiological processes and abnormalities related to pathologies that affect the brain. Amyloidosis due to the accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) was initially regarded as a specific and exclusive characteristic of neurodegenerative alterations seen in the brain of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. More recently, it was discovered that amyloidosis-related alterations, similar to those seen in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, also occur in the retina. Remarkably, these alterations were identified not only in primary retinal pathologies, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma, but also in the retinas of Alzheimer’s patients. In this review, we first briefly discuss the biogenesis of Aβ, a peptide involved in amyloidosis. We then discuss some pathological aspects (synaptic dysfunction, mitochondrial failure, glial activation, and vascular abnormalities) related to the neurotoxic effects of Aβ. We finally highlight common features shared by AD, AMD, and glaucoma in the context of Aβ amyloidosis and further discuss why the retina, due to the transparency of the eye, can be considered as a “window” to the brain. PMID:27551275

  19. Auditory Imagery: Empirical Findings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hubbard, Timothy L.

    2010-01-01

    The empirical literature on auditory imagery is reviewed. Data on (a) imagery for auditory features (pitch, timbre, loudness), (b) imagery for complex nonverbal auditory stimuli (musical contour, melody, harmony, tempo, notational audiation, environmental sounds), (c) imagery for verbal stimuli (speech, text, in dreams, interior monologue), (d)…

  20. Auditory Training for Central Auditory Processing Disorder.

    PubMed

    Weihing, Jeffrey; Chermak, Gail D; Musiek, Frank E

    2015-11-01

    Auditory training (AT) is an important component of rehabilitation for patients with central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). The present article identifies and describes aspects of AT as they relate to applications in this population. A description of the types of auditory processes along with information on relevant AT protocols that can be used to address these specific deficits is included. Characteristics and principles of effective AT procedures also are detailed in light of research that reflects on their value. Finally, research investigating AT in populations who show CAPD or present with auditory complaints is reported. Although efficacy data in this area are still emerging, current findings support the use of AT for treatment of auditory difficulties. PMID:27587909

  1. Auditory Risk of Air Rifles

    PubMed Central

    Lankford, James E.; Meinke, Deanna K.; Flamme, Gregory A.; Finan, Donald S.; Stewart, Michael; Tasko, Stephen; Murphy, William J.

    2016-01-01

    Objective To characterize the impulse noise exposure and auditory risk for air rifle users for both youth and adults. Design Acoustic characteristics were examined and the auditory risk estimates were evaluated using contemporary damage-risk criteria for unprotected adult listeners and the 120-dB peak limit and LAeq75 exposure limit suggested by the World Health Organization (1999) for children. Study sample Impulses were generated by 9 pellet air rifles and 1 BB air rifle. Results None of the air rifles generated peak levels that exceeded the 140 dB peak limit for adults and 8 (80%) exceeded the 120 dB peak SPL limit for youth. In general, for both adults and youth there is minimal auditory risk when shooting less than 100 unprotected shots with pellet air rifles. Air rifles with suppressors were less hazardous than those without suppressors and the pellet air rifles with higher velocities were generally more hazardous than those with lower velocities. Conclusion To minimize auditory risk, youth should utilize air rifles with an integrated suppressor and lower velocity ratings. Air rifle shooters are advised to wear hearing protection whenever engaging in shooting activities in order to gain self-efficacy and model appropriate hearing health behaviors necessary for recreational firearm use. PMID:26840923

  2. Zinc homeostasis and neurodegenerative disorders

    PubMed Central

    Szewczyk, Bernadeta

    2013-01-01

    Zinc is an essential trace element, whose importance to the function of the central nervous system (CNS) is increasingly being appreciated. Alterations in zinc dyshomeostasis has been suggested as a key factor in the development of several neuropsychiatric disorders. In the CNS, zinc occurs in two forms: the first being tightly bound to proteins and, secondly, the free, cytoplasmic, or extracellular form found in presynaptic vesicles. Under normal conditions, zinc released from the synaptic vesicles modulates both ionotropic and metabotropic post-synaptic receptors. While under clinical conditions such as traumatic brain injury, stroke or epilepsy, the excess influx of zinc into neurons has been found to result in neurotoxicity and damage to postsynaptic neurons. On the other hand, a growing body of evidence suggests that a deficiency, rather than an excess, of zinc leads to an increased risk for the development of neurological disorders. Indeed, zinc deficiency has been shown to affect neurogenesis and increase neuronal apoptosis, which can lead to learning and memory deficits. Altered zinc homeostasis is also suggested as a risk factor for depression, Alzheimer's disease (AD), aging, and other neurodegenerative disorders. Under normal CNS physiology, homeostatic controls are put in place to avoid the accumulation of excess zinc or its deficiency. This cellular zinc homeostasis results from the actions of a coordinated regulation effected by different proteins involved in the uptake, excretion and intracellular storage/trafficking of zinc. These proteins include membranous transporters (ZnT and Zip) and metallothioneins (MT) which control intracellular zinc levels. Interestingly, alterations in ZnT and MT have been recently reported in both aging and AD. This paper provides an overview of both clinical and experimental evidence that implicates a dysfunction in zinc homeostasis in the pathophysiology of depression, AD, and aging. PMID:23882214

  3. [Microglial Phagocytosis in the Neurodegenerative Diseases].

    PubMed

    Cao, Sheng-nan; Bao, Xiu-qi; Sun, Hua; Zhang, Dan

    2016-04-01

    Microglia are the resident innate immune cells in the brain. Under endogenous or exogenous stimulates, they become activated and play an important role in the neurodegenerative diseases. Microglial phagocytosis is a process of receptor-mediated engulfment and degradation of apoptotic cells. In addition, microglia can phagocyte brain-specific cargo, such as myelin debris and abnormal protein aggregation. However, recent studies have shown that microglia can also phagocyte stressed-but-viable neurons, causing loss of neurons in the brain. Thus, whether microglial phagocytosis is beneficial or not in neurodegenerative disease remains controversial. This article reviews microglial phagocytosis related mechanisms and its potential roles in neurodegenerative diseases, with an attempt to provide new insights in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27181903

  4. Neuroimaging Biomarkers of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Dementia

    PubMed Central

    Risacher, Shannon L.; Saykin, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders leading to dementia are common diseases that affect many older and some young adults. Neuroimaging methods are important tools for assessing and monitoring pathological brain changes associated with progressive neurodegenerative conditions. In this review, the authors describe key findings from neuroimaging studies (magnetic resonance imaging and radionucleotide imaging) in neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and prodromal stages, familial and atypical AD syndromes, frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with and without dementia, Parkinson’s disease with and without dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder, and prion protein associated diseases (i.e., Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). The authors focus on neuroimaging findings of in vivo pathology in these disorders, as well as the potential for neuroimaging to provide useful information for differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24234359

  5. Oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage and neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Chunyan; Sun, Li; Chen, Xueping; Zhang, Danshen

    2013-01-01

    Oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage have been implicated in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Oxidative stress is characterized by the overproduction of reactive oxygen species, which can induce mitochondrial DNA mutations, damage the mitochondrial respiratory chain, alter membrane permeability, and influence Ca2+ homeostasis and mitochondrial defense systems. All these changes are implicated in the development of these neurodegenerative diseases, mediating or amplifying neuronal dysfunction and triggering neurodegeneration. This paper summarizes the contribution of oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage to the onset of neurodegenerative eases and discusses strategies to modify mitochondrial dysfunction that may be attractive therapeutic interventions for the treatment of various neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25206509

  6. Auditory imagery: empirical findings.

    PubMed

    Hubbard, Timothy L

    2010-03-01

    The empirical literature on auditory imagery is reviewed. Data on (a) imagery for auditory features (pitch, timbre, loudness), (b) imagery for complex nonverbal auditory stimuli (musical contour, melody, harmony, tempo, notational audiation, environmental sounds), (c) imagery for verbal stimuli (speech, text, in dreams, interior monologue), (d) auditory imagery's relationship to perception and memory (detection, encoding, recall, mnemonic properties, phonological loop), and (e) individual differences in auditory imagery (in vividness, musical ability and experience, synesthesia, musical hallucinosis, schizophrenia, amusia) are considered. It is concluded that auditory imagery (a) preserves many structural and temporal properties of auditory stimuli, (b) can facilitate auditory discrimination but interfere with auditory detection, (c) involves many of the same brain areas as auditory perception, (d) is often but not necessarily influenced by subvocalization, (e) involves semantically interpreted information and expectancies, (f) involves depictive components and descriptive components, (g) can function as a mnemonic but is distinct from rehearsal, and (h) is related to musical ability and experience (although the mechanisms of that relationship are not clear). PMID:20192565

  7. Auditory spatial attention representations in the human cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Kong, Lingqiang; Michalka, Samantha W; Rosen, Maya L; Sheremata, Summer L; Swisher, Jascha D; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G; Somers, David C

    2014-03-01

    Auditory spatial attention serves important functions in auditory source separation and selection. Although auditory spatial attention mechanisms have been generally investigated, the neural substrates encoding spatial information acted on by attention have not been identified in the human neocortex. We performed functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments to identify cortical regions that support auditory spatial attention and to test 2 hypotheses regarding the coding of auditory spatial attention: 1) auditory spatial attention might recruit the visuospatial maps of the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) to create multimodal spatial attention maps; 2) auditory spatial information might be encoded without explicit cortical maps. We mapped visuotopic IPS regions in individual subjects and measured auditory spatial attention effects within these regions of interest. Contrary to the multimodal map hypothesis, we observed that auditory spatial attentional modulations spared the visuotopic maps of IPS; the parietal regions activated by auditory attention lacked map structure. However, multivoxel pattern analysis revealed that the superior temporal gyrus and the supramarginal gyrus contained significant information about the direction of spatial attention. These findings support the hypothesis that auditory spatial information is coded without a cortical map representation. Our findings suggest that audiospatial and visuospatial attention utilize distinctly different spatial coding schemes. PMID:23180753

  8. Auditory Memory Distortion for Spoken Prose

    PubMed Central

    Hutchison, Joanna L.; Hubbard, Timothy L.; Ferrandino, Blaise; Brigante, Ryan; Wright, Jamie M.; Rypma, Bart

    2013-01-01

    Observers often remember a scene as containing information that was not presented but that would have likely been located just beyond the observed boundaries of the scene. This effect is called boundary extension (BE; e.g., Intraub & Richardson, 1989). Previous studies have observed BE in memory for visual and haptic stimuli, and the present experiments examined whether BE occurred in memory for auditory stimuli (prose, music). Experiments 1 and 2 varied the amount of auditory content to be remembered. BE was not observed, but when auditory targets contained more content, boundary restriction (BR) occurred. Experiment 3 presented auditory stimuli with less content and BR also occurred. In Experiment 4, white noise was added to stimuli with less content to equalize the durations of auditory stimuli, and BR still occurred. Experiments 5 and 6 presented trained stories and popular music, and BR still occurred. This latter finding ruled out the hypothesis that the lack of BE in Experiments 1–4 reflected a lack of familiarity with the stimuli. Overall, memory for auditory content exhibited BR rather than BE, and this pattern was stronger if auditory stimuli contained more content. Implications for the understanding of general perceptual processing and directions for future research are discussed. PMID:22612172

  9. Auditory memory distortion for spoken prose.

    PubMed

    Hutchison, Joanna L; Hubbard, Timothy L; Ferrandino, Blaise; Brigante, Ryan; Wright, Jamie M; Rypma, Bart

    2012-11-01

    Observers often remember a scene as containing information that was not presented but that would have likely been located just beyond the observed boundaries of the scene. This effect is called boundary extension (BE; e.g., Intraub & Richardson, 1989). Previous studies have observed BE in memory for visual and haptic stimuli, and the present experiments examined whether BE occurred in memory for auditory stimuli (prose, music). Experiments 1 and 2 varied the amount of auditory content to be remembered. BE was not observed, but when auditory targets contained more content, boundary restriction (BR) occurred. Experiment 3 presented auditory stimuli with less content and BR also occurred. In Experiment 4, white noise was added to stimuli with less content to equalize the durations of auditory stimuli, and BR still occurred. Experiments 5 and 6 presented trained stories and popular music, and BR still occurred. This latter finding ruled out the hypothesis that the lack of BE in Experiments 1-4 reflected a lack of familiarity with the stimuli. Overall, memory for auditory content exhibited BR rather than BE, and this pattern was stronger if auditory stimuli contained more content. Implications for the understanding of general perceptual processing and directions for future research are discussed. PMID:22612172

  10. PET/SPECT imaging agents for neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Lin; Ploessl, Karl; Kung, Hank F.

    2014-01-01

    Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) or positron emission computed tomography (PET) imaging agents for neurodegenerative disease have a significant impact on clinical diagnosis and patient care. The examples of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) imaging agents described in this paper provide a general view on how imaging agents, ie radioactive drugs, are selected, chemically prepared and applied in humans. Imaging the living human brain can provide unique information on the pathology and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, such as AD and PD. The imaging method will also facilitate preclinical and clinical trials of new drugs offering specific information related to drug binding sites in the brain. In the future, chemists will continue to play important roles in identifying specific targets, synthesizing target-specific probes for screening and ultimately testing them by in vitro and in vivo assays. PMID:24676152

  11. Olfaction in Neurologic and Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Literature Review

    PubMed Central

    Godoy, Maria Dantas Costa Lima; Voegels, Richard Louis; Pinna, Fábio de Rezende; Imamura, Rui; Farfel, José Marcelo

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Loss of smell is involved in various neurologic and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson disease and Alzheimer disease. However, the olfactory test is usually neglected by physicians at large. Objective The aim of this study was to review the current literature about the relationship between olfactory dysfunction and neurologic and neurodegenerative diseases. Data Synthesis Twenty-seven studies were selected for analysis, and the olfactory system, olfaction, and the association between the olfactory dysfunction and dementias were reviewed. Furthermore, is described an up to date in olfaction. Conclusion Otolaryngologist should remember the importance of olfaction evaluation in daily practice. Furthermore, neurologists and physicians in general should include olfactory tests in the screening of those at higher risk of dementia. PMID:25992176

  12. Extracting regional brain patterns for classification of neurodegenerative diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pulido, Andrea; Rueda, Andrea; Romero, Eduardo

    2013-11-01

    In structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), neurodegenerative diseases generally present complex brain patterns that can be correlated with di erent clinical onsets of this pathologies. An objective method that aims to determine both global and local changes is not usually available in clinical practice, thus the interpretation of these images is strongly dependent on the radiologist's skills. In this paper, we propose a strategy which interprets the brain structure using a framework that highlights discriminant brain patterns for neurodegenerative diseases. This is accomplished by combining a probabilistic learning technique, which identi es and groups regions with similar visual features, with a visual saliency method that exposes relevant information within each region. The association of such patterns with a speci c disease is herein evaluated in a classi cation task, using a dataset including 80 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and 76 healthy subjects (NC). Preliminary results show that the proposed method reaches a maximum classi cation accuracy of 81.39%.

  13. Attending to auditory memory.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Jacqueline F; Moscovitch, Morris; Alain, Claude

    2016-06-01

    Attention to memory describes the process of attending to memory traces when the object is no longer present. It has been studied primarily for representations of visual stimuli with only few studies examining attention to sound object representations in short-term memory. Here, we review the interplay of attention and auditory memory with an emphasis on 1) attending to auditory memory in the absence of related external stimuli (i.e., reflective attention) and 2) effects of existing memory on guiding attention. Attention to auditory memory is discussed in the context of change deafness, and we argue that failures to detect changes in our auditory environments are most likely the result of a faulty comparison system of incoming and stored information. Also, objects are the primary building blocks of auditory attention, but attention can also be directed to individual features (e.g., pitch). We review short-term and long-term memory guided modulation of attention based on characteristic features, location, and/or semantic properties of auditory objects, and propose that auditory attention to memory pathways emerge after sensory memory. A neural model for auditory attention to memory is developed, which comprises two separate pathways in the parietal cortex, one involved in attention to higher-order features and the other involved in attention to sensory information. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. PMID:26638836

  14. Genetically modified pig models for neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Holm, Ida E; Alstrup, Aage Kristian Olsen; Luo, Yonglun

    2016-01-01

    Increasing incidence of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease has become one of the most challenging health issues in ageing humans. One approach to combat this is to generate genetically modified animal models of neurodegenerative disorders for studying pathogenesis, prognosis, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Owing to the genetic, anatomic, physiologic, pathologic, and neurologic similarities between pigs and humans, genetically modified pig models of neurodegenerative disorders have been attractive large animal models to bridge the gap of preclinical investigations between rodents and humans. In this review, we provide a neuroanatomical overview in pigs and summarize and discuss the generation of genetically modified pig models of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's diseases, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy, and ataxia-telangiectasia. We also highlight how non-invasive bioimaging technologies such as positron emission tomography (PET), computer tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and behavioural testing have been applied to characterize neurodegenerative pig models. We further propose a multiplex genome editing and preterm recloning (MAP) approach by using the rapid growth of the ground-breaking precision genome editing technology CRISPR/Cas9 and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). With this approach, we hope to shorten the temporal requirement in generating multiple transgenic pigs, increase the survival rate of founder pigs, and generate genetically modified pigs that will more closely resemble the disease-causing mutations and recapitulate pathological features of human conditions. PMID:26446984

  15. Cerebral correlates of psychotic syndromes in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Jellinger, Kurt A

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Psychosis has been recognized as a common feature in neurodegenerative diseases and a core feature of dementia that worsens most clinical courses. It includes hallucinations, delusions including paranoia, aggressive behaviour, apathy and other psychotic phenomena that occur in a wide range of degenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, synucleinopathies (Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies), Huntington’s disease, frontotemporal degenerations, motoneuron and prion diseases. Many of these psychiatric manifestations may be early expressions of cognitive impairment, but often there is a dissociation between psychotic/behavioural symptoms and the rather linear decline in cognitive function, suggesting independent pathophysiological mechanisms. Strictly neuropathological explanations are likely to be insufficient to explain them, and a large group of heterogeneous factors (environmental, neurochemical changes, genetic factors, etc.) may influence their pathogenesis. Clinico-pathological evaluation of behavioural and psychotic symptoms (PS) in the setting of neurodegenerative and dementing disorders presents a significant challenge for modern neurosciences. Recognition and understanding of these manifestations may lead to the development of more effective preventive and therapeutic options that can serve to delay long-term progression of these devastating disorders and improve the patients’ quality of life. A better understanding of the pathophysiology and distinctive pathological features underlying the development of PS in neurodegenerative diseases may provide important insights into psychotic processes in general. PMID:21418522

  16. Effects of an Auditory Lateralization Training in Children Suspected to Central Auditory Processing Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Lotfi, Yones; Moosavi, Abdollah; Bakhshi, Enayatollah; Sadjedi, Hamed

    2016-01-01

    Background and Objectives Central auditory processing disorder [(C)APD] refers to a deficit in auditory stimuli processing in nervous system that is not due to higher-order language or cognitive factors. One of the problems in children with (C)APD is spatial difficulties which have been overlooked despite their significance. Localization is an auditory ability to detect sound sources in space and can help to differentiate between the desired speech from other simultaneous sound sources. Aim of this research was investigating effects of an auditory lateralization training on speech perception in presence of noise/competing signals in children suspected to (C)APD. Subjects and Methods In this analytical interventional study, 60 children suspected to (C)APD were selected based on multiple auditory processing assessment subtests. They were randomly divided into two groups: control (mean age 9.07) and training groups (mean age 9.00). Training program consisted of detection and pointing to sound sources delivered with interaural time differences under headphones for 12 formal sessions (6 weeks). Spatial word recognition score (WRS) and monaural selective auditory attention test (mSAAT) were used to follow the auditory lateralization training effects. Results This study showed that in the training group, mSAAT score and spatial WRS in noise (p value≤0.001) improved significantly after the auditory lateralization training. Conclusions We used auditory lateralization training for 6 weeks and showed that auditory lateralization can improve speech understanding in noise significantly. The generalization of this results needs further researches. PMID:27626084

  17. Role of metabolism in neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Procaccini, Claudio; Santopaolo, Marianna; Faicchia, Deriggio; Colamatteo, Alessandra; Formisano, Luigi; de Candia, Paola; Galgani, Mario; De Rosa, Veronica; Matarese, Giuseppe

    2016-09-01

    Along with the increase in life expectancy over the last century, the prevalence of age-related disorders, such as neurodegenerative diseases continues to rise. This is the case of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's diseases and Multiple sclerosis, which are chronic disorders characterized by neuronal loss in motor, sensory or cognitive systems. Accumulating evidence has suggested the presence of a strong correlation between metabolic changes and neurodegeneration. Indeed epidemiologic studies have shown strong associations between obesity, metabolic dysfunction, and neurodegeneration, while animal models have provided insights into the complex relationships between these conditions. In this context, hormones such as leptin, ghrelin, insulin and IGF-1 seem to play a key role in the regulation of neuronal damage, toxic insults and several other neurodegenerative processes. This review aims to presenting the most recent evidence supporting the crosstalk linking energy metabolism and neurodegeneration, and will focus on metabolic manipulation as a possible therapeutic tool in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27506744

  18. Visual Spatial Cognition in Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Possin, Katherine L.

    2011-01-01

    Visual spatial impairment is often an early symptom of neurodegenerative disease; however, this multi-faceted domain of cognition is not well-assessed by most typical dementia evaluations. Neurodegenerative diseases cause circumscribed atrophy in distinct neural networks, and accordingly, they impact visual spatial cognition in different and characteristic ways. Anatomically-focused visual spatial assessment can assist the clinician in making an early and accurate diagnosis. This article will review the literature on visual spatial cognition in neurodegenerative disease clinical syndromes, and where research is available, by neuropathologic diagnoses. Visual spatial cognition will be organized primarily according to the following schemes: bottom-up / top-down processing, dorsal / ventral stream processing, and egocentric / allocentric frames of reference. PMID:20526954

  19. Role of iron in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Li, Kai; Reichmann, Heinz

    2016-04-01

    Currently, we still lack effective measures to modify disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases. Iron-containing proteins play an essential role in many fundamental biological processes in the central nervous system. In addition, iron is a redox-active ion and can induce oxidative stress in the cell. Although the causes and pathology hallmarks of different neurodegenerative diseases vary, iron dyshomeostasis, oxidative stress and mitochondrial injury constitute a common pathway to cell death in several neurodegenerative diseases. MRI is capable of depicting iron content in the brain, and serves as a potential biomarker for early and differential diagnosis, tracking disease progression and evaluating the effectiveness of neuroprotective therapy. Iron chelators have shown their efficacy against neurodegeneration in a series of animal models, and been applied in several clinical trials. In this review, we summarize recent developments on iron dyshomeostasis in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Friedreich ataxia, and Huntington's disease. PMID:26794939

  20. Auditory system of fruit flies.

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, Yuki; Kamikouchi, Azusa

    2016-08-01

    The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is an invaluable model for auditory research. Advantages of using the fruit fly include its stereotyped behavior in response to a particular sound, and the availability of molecular-genetic tools to manipulate gene expression and cellular activity. Although the receiver type in fruit flies differs from that in mammals, the auditory systems of mammals and fruit flies are strikingly similar with regard to the level of development, transduction mechanism, mechanical amplification, and central projections. These similarities strongly support the use of the fruit fly to study the general principles of acoustic information processing. In this review, we introduce acoustic communication and discuss recent advances in our understanding on hearing in fruit flies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled . PMID:26560238

  1. Amylin at the interface between metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders

    PubMed Central

    Lutz, Thomas A.; Meyer, Urs

    2015-01-01

    The pancreatic peptide amylin is best known for its role as a satiation hormone in the control of food intake and as the major component of islet amyloid deposits in the pancreatic islets of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Epidemiological studies have established a clear association between metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders in general, and between T2DM and Alzheimer's disease (AD) in particular. Here, we discuss that amylin may be an important player acting at the interface between these metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders. Abnormal amylin production is a hallmark peripheral pathology both in the early (pre-diabetic) and late phases of T2DM, where hyperamylinemic (early phase) and hypoamylinemic (late phase) conditions coincide with hyper- and hypo-insulinemia, respectively. Moreover, there are notable biochemical similarities between amylin and β-amyloids (Aβ), which are both prone to amyloid plaque formation and to cytotoxic effects. Amylin's propensity to form amyloid plaques is not restricted to pancreatic islet cells, but readily extends to the CNS, where it has been found to co-localize with Aβ plaques in at least a subset of AD patients. Hence, amylin may constitute a “second amyloid” in neurodegenerative disorders such as AD. We further argue that hyperamylinemic conditions may be more relevant for the early processes of amyloid formation in the CNS, whereas hypoamylinemic conditions may be more strongly associated with late stages of central amyloid pathologies. Advancing our understanding of these temporal relationships may help to establish amylin-based interventions in the treatment of AD and other neurodegenerative disorders with metabolic comorbidities. PMID:26136651

  2. Genetics of neurodegenerative diseases: insights from high-throughput resequencing

    PubMed Central

    Tsuji, Shoji

    2010-01-01

    During the past three decades, we have witnessed remarkable advances in our understanding of the molecular etiologies of hereditary neurodegenerative diseases, which have been accomplished by ‘positional cloning’ strategies. The discoveries of the causative genes for hereditary neurodegenerative diseases accelerated not only the studies on the pathophysiologic mechanisms of diseases, but also the studies for the development of disease-modifying therapies. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) based on the ‘common disease–common variants hypothesis’ are currently undertaken to elucidate disease-relevant alleles. Although GWAS have successfully revealed numerous susceptibility genes for neurodegenerative diseases, odds ratios associated with risk alleles are generally low and account for only a small proportion of estimated heritability. Recent studies have revealed that the effect sizes of the disease-relevant alleles that are identified based on comprehensive resequencing of large data sets of Parkinson disease are substantially larger than those identified by GWAS. These findings strongly argue for the role of the ‘common disease–multiple rare variants hypothesis’ in sporadic neurodegenerative diseases. Given the rapidly improving technologies of next-generation sequencing next-generation sequencing (NGS), we expect that NGS will eventually enable us to identify all the variants in an individual's personal genome, in particular, clinically relevant alleles. Beyond this, whole genome resequencing is expected to bring a paradigm shift in clinical practice, where clinical practice including diagnosis and decision-making for appropriate therapeutic procedures is based on the ‘personal genome’. The personal genome era is expected to be realized in the near future, and society needs to prepare for this new era. PMID:20413655

  3. Abnormal Mitochondrial Dynamics and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Su, Bo; Wang, Xinglong; Zheng, Ling; Perry, George; Smith, Mark A.; Zhu, Xiongwei

    2009-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is a prominent feature of various neurodegenerative diseases. A deeper understanding of the remarkably dynamic nature of mitochondria, characterized by a delicate balance of fission and fusion, has helped to fertilize a recent wave of new studies demonstrating abnormal mitochondrial dynamics in neurodegenerative diseases. This review highlights mitochondrial dysfunction and abnormal mitochondrial dynamics in Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington disease and discusses how these abnormal mitochondrial dynamics may contribute to mitochondrial and neuronal dysfunction. We propose that abnormal mitochondrial dynamics represents a key common pathway that mediates or amplifies mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal dysfunction during the course of neurodegeneration. PMID:19799998

  4. Neurodegenerative disease: a different view of diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Hardy, J; Gwinn-Hardy, K

    1999-12-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases have traditionally been defined as clinicopathological entities. Although this has been a productive paradigm in terms of the development of treatment strategies, molecular genetic approaches have revealed that there is overlap between different entities in pathogenic mechanisms. In this article, it is argued that neurodegenerative disease should also be thought of as the consequences of sequential biochemical processes, and that some parts of these processes appear to operate in more than one disease entity. Defining these pathways and, in particular, developing an appreciation of the commonalities between different diseases, should aid in the development of therapies that are effective in several diseases. PMID:10562716

  5. Oligonucleotide-based therapy for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Magen, Iddo; Hornstein, Eran

    2014-10-10

    Molecular genetics insight into the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer׳s disease, Parkinson׳s disease, Huntington׳s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, encourages direct interference with the activity of neurotoxic genes or the molecular activation of neuroprotective pathways. Oligonucleotide-based therapies are recently emerging as an efficient strategy for drug development and these can be employed as new treatments of neurodegenerative states. Here we review advances in this field in recent years which suggest an encouraging assessment that oligonucleotide technologies for targeting of RNAs will enable the development of new therapies and will contribute to preservation of brain integrity. PMID:24727531

  6. Managing anxiety associated with neurodegenerative disorders

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Anand

    2015-01-01

    Anxiety is a common symptom among patients with cognitive impairment. The presence of anxiety is correlated with poorer outcomes; despite this, there is limited research on anxiety related to neurodegenerative disorder. In this article, we discuss the prevalence of anxiety and factors involved in the etiology of anxiety in patients with diagnosed neurodegenerative disorders and related states of cognitive impairment as well as the evidence for currently available methods of evaluating and treating these symptoms. Specific treatments are highlighted in light of current evidence, followed by a discussion of the difficulties inherent in the study and treatment of anxiety in this population. PMID:25705388

  7. What causes auditory distraction?

    PubMed

    Macken, William J; Phelps, Fiona G; Jones, Dylan M

    2009-02-01

    The role of separating task-relevant from task-irrelevant aspects of the environment is typically assigned to the executive functioning of working memory. However, pervasive aspects of auditory distraction have been shown to be unrelated to working memory capacity in a range of studies of individual differences. We measured individual differences in global pattern matching and deliberate recoding of auditory sequences, and showed that, although deliberate processing was related to short-term memory performance, it did not predict the extent to which that performance was disrupted by task-irrelevant sound. Individual differences in global sequence processing were, however, positively related to the degree to which auditory distraction occurred. We argue that much auditory distraction, rather than being a negative function of working memory capacity, is in fact a positive function of the acuity of obligatory auditory processing. PMID:19145024

  8. Auditory-motor learning influences auditory memory for music.

    PubMed

    Brown, Rachel M; Palmer, Caroline

    2012-05-01

    In two experiments, we investigated how auditory-motor learning influences performers' memory for music. Skilled pianists learned novel melodies in four conditions: auditory only (listening), motor only (performing without sound), strongly coupled auditory-motor (normal performance), and weakly coupled auditory-motor (performing along with auditory recordings). Pianists' recognition of the learned melodies was better following auditory-only or auditory-motor (weakly coupled and strongly coupled) learning than following motor-only learning, and better following strongly coupled auditory-motor learning than following auditory-only learning. Auditory and motor imagery abilities modulated the learning effects: Pianists with high auditory imagery scores had better recognition following motor-only learning, suggesting that auditory imagery compensated for missing auditory feedback at the learning stage. Experiment 2 replicated the findings of Experiment 1 with melodies that contained greater variation in acoustic features. Melodies that were slower and less variable in tempo and intensity were remembered better following weakly coupled auditory-motor learning. These findings suggest that motor learning can aid performers' auditory recognition of music beyond auditory learning alone, and that motor learning is influenced by individual abilities in mental imagery and by variation in acoustic features. PMID:22271265

  9. [Verbal auditory agnosia: SPECT study of the brain].

    PubMed

    Carmona, C; Casado, I; Fernández-Rojas, J; Garín, J; Rayo, J I

    1995-01-01

    Verbal auditory agnosia are rare in clinical practice. Clinically, it characterized by impairment of comprehension and repetition of speech but reading, writing, and spontaneous speech are preserved. So it is distinguished from generalized auditory agnosia by the preserved ability to recognize non verbal sounds. We present the clinical picture of a forty-years-old, right handed woman who developed verbal auditory agnosic after an bilateral temporal ischemic infarcts due to atrial fibrillation by dilated cardiomyopathie. Neurophysiological studies by pure tone threshold audiometry: brainstem auditory evoked potentials and cortical auditory evoked potentials showed sparing of peripheral hearing and intact auditory pathway in brainstem but impaired cortical responses. Cranial CT-SCAN revealed two large hypodenses area involving both cortico-subcortical temporal lobes. Cerebral SPECT using 99mTc-HMPAO as radiotracer showed hypoperfusion just posterior in both frontal lobes nect to Roland's fissure and at level of bitemporal lobes just anterior to Sylvian's fissure. PMID:8556589

  10. Auditory and visual memory in musicians and nonmusicians

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Karla K.; Horowitz, Todd S.; Wolfe, Jeremy M.

    2014-01-01

    Numerous studies have shown that musicians outperform nonmusicians on a variety of tasks. Here we provide the first evidence that musicians have superior auditory recognition memory for both musical and nonmusical stimuli, compared to nonmusicians. However, this advantage did not generalize to the visual domain. Previously, we showed that auditory recognition memory is inferior to visual recognition memory. Would this be true even for trained musicians? We compared auditory and visual memory in musicians and nonmusicians using familiar music, spoken English, and visual objects. For both groups, memory for the auditory stimuli was inferior to memory for the visual objects. Thus, although considerable musical training is associated with better musical and nonmusical auditory memory, it does not increase the ability to remember sounds to the levels found with visual stimuli. This suggests a fundamental capacity difference between auditory and visual recognition memory, with a persistent advantage for the visual domain. PMID:21374094

  11. Cannabidiol: a promising drug for neurodegenerative disorders?

    PubMed

    Iuvone, Teresa; Esposito, Giuseppe; De Filippis, Daniele; Scuderi, Caterina; Steardo, Luca

    2009-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases represent, nowadays, one of the main causes of death in the industrialized country. They are characterized by a loss of neurons in particular regions of the nervous system. It is believed that this nerve cell loss underlies the subsequent decline in cognitive and motor function that patients experience in these diseases. A range of mutant genes and environmental toxins have been implicated in the cause of neurodegenerative disorders but the mechanism remains largely unknown. At present, inflammation, a common denominator among the diverse list of neurodegenerative diseases, has been implicated as a critical mechanism that is responsible for the progressive nature of neurodegeneration. Since, at present, there are few therapies for the wide range of neurodegenerative diseases, scientists are still in search of new therapeutic approaches to the problem. An early contribution of neuroprotective and antiinflammatory strategies for these disorders seems particularly desirable because isolated treatments cannot be effective. In this contest, marijuana derivatives have attracted special interest, although these compounds have always raised several practical and ethical problems for their potential abuse. Nevertheless, among Cannabis compounds, cannabidiol (CBD), which lacks any unwanted psychotropic effect, may represent a very promising agent with the highest prospect for therapeutic use. PMID:19228180

  12. Dysregulation of Glutathione Homeostasis in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, William M.; Wilson-Delfosse, Amy L.; Mieyal, John. J.

    2012-01-01

    Dysregulation of glutathione homeostasis and alterations in glutathione-dependent enzyme activities are increasingly implicated in the induction and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Friedreich’s ataxia. In this review background is provided on the steady-state synthesis, regulation, and transport of glutathione, with primary focus on the brain. A brief overview is presented on the distinct but vital roles of glutathione in cellular maintenance and survival, and on the functions of key glutathione-dependent enzymes. Major contributors to initiation and progression of neurodegenerative diseases are considered, including oxidative stress, protein misfolding, and protein aggregation. In each case examples of key regulatory mechanisms are identified that are sensitive to changes in glutathione redox status and/or in the activities of glutathione-dependent enzymes. Mechanisms of dysregulation of glutathione and/or glutathione-dependent enzymes are discussed that are implicated in pathogenesis of each neurodegenerative disease. Limitations in information or interpretation are identified, and possible avenues for further research are described with an aim to elucidating novel targets for therapeutic interventions. The pros and cons of administration of N-acetylcysteine or glutathione as therapeutic agents for neurodegenerative diseases, as well as the potential utility of serum glutathione as a biomarker, are critically evaluated. PMID:23201762

  13. Walking the tightrope: proteostasis and neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Yerbury, Justin J; Ooi, Lezanne; Dillin, Andrew; Saunders, Darren N; Hatters, Danny M; Beart, Philip M; Cashman, Neil R; Wilson, Mark R; Ecroyd, Heath

    2016-05-01

    A characteristic of many neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is the aggregation of specific proteins into protein inclusions and/or plaques in degenerating brains. While much of the aggregated protein consists of disease specific proteins, such as amyloid-β, α-synuclein, or superoxide dismutase1 (SOD1), many other proteins are known to aggregate in these disorders. Although the role of protein aggregates in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases remains unknown, the ubiquitous association of misfolded and aggregated proteins indicates that significant dysfunction in protein homeostasis (proteostasis) occurs in these diseases. Proteostasis is the concept that the integrity of the proteome is in fine balance and requires proteins in a specific conformation, concentration, and location to be functional. In this review, we discuss the role of specific mechanisms, both inside and outside cells, which maintain proteostasis, including molecular chaperones, protein degradation pathways, and the active formation of inclusions, in neurodegenerative diseases associated with protein aggregation. A characteristic of many neurodegenerative diseases is the aggregation of specific proteins, which alone provides strong evidence that protein homeostasis is disrupted in these disease states. Proteostasis is the maintenance of the proteome in the correct conformation, concentration, and location by functional pathways such as molecular chaperones and protein degradation machinery. Here, we discuss the potential roles of quality control pathways, both inside and outside cells, in the loss of proteostasis during aging and disease. PMID:26872075

  14. DNA methylation, a hand behind neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Haoyang; Liu, Xinzhou; Deng, Yulin; Qing, Hong

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic alterations represent a sort of functional modifications related to the genome that are not responsible for changes in the nucleotide sequence. DNA methylation is one of such epigenetic modifications that have been studied intensively for the past several decades. The transfer of a methyl group to the 5 position of a cytosine is the key feature of DNA methylation. A simple change as such can be caused by a variety of factors, which can be the cause of many serious diseases including several neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we have reviewed and summarized recent progress regarding DNA methylation in four major neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The studies of these four major neurodegenerative diseases conclude the strong suggestion of the important role DNA methylation plays in these diseases. However, each of these diseases has not yet been understood completely as details in some areas remain unclear, and will be investigated in future studies. We hope this review can provide new insights into the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases from the epigenetic perspective. PMID:24367332

  15. How phonetically selective is the human auditory cortex?

    PubMed

    Shamma, Shihab

    2014-08-01

    Responses in the human auditory cortex to natural speech reveal a dual character. Often they are categorically selective to phonetic elements, serving as a gateway to abstract linguistic representations. But at other times they reflect a distributed generalized spectrotemporal analysis of the acoustic features, as seen in early mammalian auditory cortices. PMID:24751358

  16. Auditory Cortical Plasticity in Learning to Discriminate Modulation Rate

    PubMed Central

    van Wassenhove, Virginie; Nagarajan, Srikantan S.

    2014-01-01

    The discrimination of temporal information in acoustic inputs is a crucial aspect of auditory perception, yet very few studies have focused on auditory perceptual learning of timing properties and associated plasticity in adult auditory cortex. Here, we trained participants on a temporal discrimination task. The main task used a base stimulus (four tones separated by intervals of 200 ms) that had to be distinguished from a target stimulus (four tones with intervals down to ~180 ms). We show that participants’ auditory temporal sensitivity improves with a short amount of training (3 d, 1 h/d). Learning to discriminate temporal modulation rates was accompanied by a systematic amplitude increase of the early auditory evoked responses to trained stimuli, as measured by magnetoencephalography. Additionally, learning and auditory cortex plasticity partially generalized to interval discrimination but not to frequency discrimination. Auditory cortex plasticity associated with short-term perceptual learning was manifested as an enhancement of auditory cortical responses to trained acoustic features only in the trained task. Plasticity was also manifested as induced non-phase–locked high gamma-band power increases in inferior frontal cortex during performance in the trained task. Functional plasticity in auditory cortex is here interpreted as the product of bottom-up and top-down modulations. PMID:17344404

  17. Temperature sensitive auditory neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiujing; Lan, Lan; Shi, Wei; Yu, Lan; Xie, Lin-Yi; Xiong, Fen; Zhao, Cui; Li, Na; Yin, Zifang; Zong, Liang; Guan, Jing; Wang, Dayong; Sun, Wei; Wang, Qiuju

    2016-05-01

    Temperature sensitive auditory neuropathy is a very rare and puzzling disorder. In the present study, we reported three unrelated 2 to 6 year-old children who were diagnosed as auditory neuropathy patients who complained of severe hearing loss when they had fever. Their hearing thresholds varied from the morning to the afternoon. Two of these patients' hearing improved with age, and one patient received positive results from cochlear implant. Genetic analysis revealed that these three patients had otoferlin (OTOF) homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations with the genotypes c.2975_2978delAG/c.4819C>T, c.4819C>T/c.4819C>T, or c.2382_2383delC/c.1621G>A, respectively. Our study suggests that these gene mutations may be the cause of temperature sensitive auditory neuropathy. The long term follow up results suggest that the hearing loss in this type of auditory neuropathy may recover with age. PMID:26778470

  18. Subcortical modulation in auditory processing and auditory hallucinations.

    PubMed

    Ikuta, Toshikazu; DeRosse, Pamela; Argyelan, Miklos; Karlsgodt, Katherine H; Kingsley, Peter B; Szeszko, Philip R; Malhotra, Anil K

    2015-12-15

    Hearing perception in individuals with auditory hallucinations has not been well studied. Auditory hallucinations have previously been shown to involve primary auditory cortex activation. This activation suggests that auditory hallucinations activate the terminal of the auditory pathway as if auditory signals are submitted from the cochlea, and that a hallucinatory event is therefore perceived as hearing. The primary auditory cortex is stimulated by some unknown source that is outside of the auditory pathway. The current study aimed to assess the outcomes of stimulating the primary auditory cortex through the auditory pathway in individuals who have experienced auditory hallucinations. Sixteen patients with schizophrenia underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) sessions, as well as hallucination assessments. During the fMRI session, auditory stimuli were presented in one-second intervals at times when scanner noise was absent. Participants listened to auditory stimuli of sine waves (SW) (4-5.5kHz), English words (EW), and acoustically reversed English words (arEW) in a block design fashion. The arEW were employed to deliver the sound of a human voice with minimal linguistic components. Patients' auditory hallucination severity was assessed by the auditory hallucination item of the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS). During perception of arEW when compared with perception of SW, bilateral activation of the globus pallidus correlated with severity of auditory hallucinations. EW when compared with arEW did not correlate with auditory hallucination severity. Our findings suggest that the sensitivity of the globus pallidus to the human voice is associated with the severity of auditory hallucination. PMID:26275927

  19. Auditory Spatial Layout

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wightman, Frederic L.; Jenison, Rick

    1995-01-01

    All auditory sensory information is packaged in a pair of acoustical pressure waveforms, one at each ear. While there is obvious structure in these waveforms, that structure (temporal and spectral patterns) bears no simple relationship to the structure of the environmental objects that produced them. The properties of auditory objects and their layout in space must be derived completely from higher level processing of the peripheral input. This chapter begins with a discussion of the peculiarities of acoustical stimuli and how they are received by the human auditory system. A distinction is made between the ambient sound field and the effective stimulus to differentiate the perceptual distinctions among various simple classes of sound sources (ambient field) from the known perceptual consequences of the linear transformations of the sound wave from source to receiver (effective stimulus). Next, the definition of an auditory object is dealt with, specifically the question of how the various components of a sound stream become segregated into distinct auditory objects. The remainder of the chapter focuses on issues related to the spatial layout of auditory objects, both stationary and moving.

  20. [Central auditory prosthesis].

    PubMed

    Lenarz, T; Lim, H; Joseph, G; Reuter, G; Lenarz, M

    2009-06-01

    Deaf patients with severe sensory hearing loss can benefit from a cochlear implant (CI), which stimulates the auditory nerve fibers. However, patients who do not have an intact auditory nerve cannot benefit from a CI. The majority of these patients are neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) patients who developed neural deafness due to growth or surgical removal of a bilateral acoustic neuroma. The only current solution is the auditory brainstem implant (ABI), which stimulates the surface of the cochlear nucleus in the brainstem. Although the ABI provides improvement in environmental awareness and lip-reading capabilities, only a few NF2 patients have achieved some limited open set speech perception. In the search for alternative procedures our research group in collaboration with Cochlear Ltd. (Australia) developed a human prototype auditory midbrain implant (AMI), which is designed to electrically stimulate the inferior colliculus (IC). The IC has the potential as a new target for an auditory prosthesis as it provides access to neural projections necessary for speech perception as well as a systematic map of spectral information. In this paper the present status of research and development in the field of central auditory prostheses is presented with respect to technology, surgical technique and hearing results as well as the background concepts of ABI and AMI. PMID:19517084

  1. Mechanisms of protein seeding in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Walker, Lary C; Diamond, Marc I; Duff, Karen E; Hyman, Bradley T

    2013-03-01

    Most age-associated neurodegenerative diseases involve the aggregation of specific proteins within the nervous system. In Alzheimer disease, the insidious pathogenic process begins many years before the symptoms emerge, and the lesions that characterize the disease—senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles—ramify systematically through the brain. We review evidence that the -amyloid and tau proteins, which aggregate to form senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, respectively, are induced to misfold and self-assemble by a process of templated conformational change that amplifies a toxic species. Recent data also indicate that the spread of these lesions from one site to another is mediated by the cellular uptake, transport, and release of endogenous seeds formed by the cognate proteins. This simple pathogenic principle suggests that the formation, trafficking, and metabolism of pathogenic protein seeds are promising therapeutic targets for Alzheimer disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:23599928

  2. Resveratrol: A Focus on Several Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Tellone, Ester; Galtieri, Antonio; Russo, Annamaria; Giardina, Bruno; Ficarra, Silvana

    2015-01-01

    Molecules of the plant world are proving their effectiveness in countering, slowing down, and regressing many diseases. The resveratrol for its intrinsic properties related to its stilbene structure has been proven to be a universal panacea, especially for a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases. This paper evaluates (in vivo and in vitro) the various molecular targets of this peculiar polyphenol and its ability to effectively counter several neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. What emerges is that, in the deep heterogeneity of the pathologies evaluated, resveratrol through a convergence on the protein targets is able to give therapeutic responses in neuronal cells deeply diversified not only in morphological structure but especially in their function performed in the anatomical district to which they belong. PMID:26180587

  3. Brain drug delivery systems for neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Garbayo, E; Ansorena, E; Blanco-Prieto, M J

    2012-09-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders (NDs) are rapidly increasing as population ages. However, successful treatments for NDs have so far been limited and drug delivery to the brain remains one of the major challenges to overcome. There has recently been growing interest in the development of drug delivery systems (DDS) for local or systemic brain administration. DDS are able to improve the pharmacological and therapeutic properties of conventional drugs and reduce their side effects. The present review provides a concise overview of the recent advances made in the field of brain drug delivery for treating neurodegenerative disorders. Examples include polymeric micro and nanoparticles, lipidic nanoparticles, pegylated liposomes, microemulsions and nanogels that have been tested in experimental models of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease. Overall, the results reviewed here show that DDS have great potential for NDs treatment. PMID:23016644

  4. Resveratrol: A Focus on Several Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Tellone, Ester; Galtieri, Antonio; Russo, Annamaria; Giardina, Bruno; Ficarra, Silvana

    2015-01-01

    Molecules of the plant world are proving their effectiveness in countering, slowing down, and regressing many diseases. The resveratrol for its intrinsic properties related to its stilbene structure has been proven to be a universal panacea, especially for a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases. This paper evaluates (in vivo and in vitro) the various molecular targets of this peculiar polyphenol and its ability to effectively counter several neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. What emerges is that, in the deep heterogeneity of the pathologies evaluated, resveratrol through a convergence on the protein targets is able to give therapeutic responses in neuronal cells deeply diversified not only in morphological structure but especially in their function performed in the anatomical district to which they belong. PMID:26180587

  5. Endocytic membrane trafficking and neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Schreij, Andrea M A; Fon, Edward A; McPherson, Peter S

    2016-04-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are amongst the most devastating of human disorders. New technologies have led to a rapid increase in the identification of disease-related genes with an enhanced appreciation of the key roles played by genetics in the etiology of these disorders. Importantly, pinpointing the normal function of disease gene proteins leads to new understanding of the cellular machineries and pathways that are altered in the disease process. One such emerging pathway is membrane trafficking in the endosomal system. This key cellular process controls the localization and levels of a myriad of proteins and is thus critical for normal cell function. In this review we will focus on three neurodegenerative diseases; Parkinson disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and hereditary spastic paraplegias, for which a large number of newly discovered disease genes encode proteins that function in endosomal membrane trafficking. We will describe how alterations in these proteins affect endosomal function and speculate on the contributions of these disruptions to disease pathophysiology. PMID:26721251

  6. Dendritic Spine Pathology in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Herms, Jochen; Dorostkar, Mario M

    2016-05-23

    Substantial progress has been made toward understanding the neuropathology, genetic origins, and epidemiology of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease; tauopathies, such as frontotemporal dementia; α-synucleinopathies, such as Parkinson's disease or dementia with Lewy bodies; Huntington's disease; and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with dementia, as well as prion diseases. Recent evidence has implicated dendritic spine dysfunction as an important substrate of the pathogenesis of dementia in these disorders. Dendritic spines are specialized structures, extending from the neuronal processes, on which excitatory synaptic contacts are formed, and the loss of dendritic spines correlates with the loss of synaptic function. We review the literature that has implicated direct or indirect structural alterations at dendritic spines in the pathogenesis of major neurodegenerative diseases, focusing on those that lead to dementias such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases, as well as frontotemporal dementia and prion diseases. We stress the importance of in vivo studies in animal models. PMID:26907528

  7. Active and Passive Immunotherapy for Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Brody, David L.; Holtzman, David M.

    2008-01-01

    Immunotherapeutic strategies to combat neurodegenerative disorders have galvanized the scientific community since the first dramatic successes in mouse models recreating aspects of Alzheimer disease (AD) were reported. However, initial human trials of active amyloid-beta (Aβ) vaccination were halted early because of a serious safety issue: meningoencephalitis in 6% of subjects. Nonetheless, some encouraging preliminary data were obtained, and rapid progress has been made toward developing alternative, possibly safer active and passive immunotherapeutic approaches for several neurodegenerative conditions. Many of these are currently in human trials for AD. Despite these advances, our understanding of the essential mechanisms underlying the effects seen in preclinical models and human subjects is still incomplete. Antibody-induced phagocytosis of pathological protein deposits, direct antibody-mediated disruption of aggregates, neutralization of toxic soluble proteins, a shift in equilibrium toward efflux of specific proteins from the brain, cell-mediated immune responses, and other mechanisms may all play roles depending on the specific immunotherapeutic scenario. PMID:18352830

  8. Neurodegenerative disorders and nanoformulated drug development

    PubMed Central

    Nowacek, Ari; Kosloski, Lisa M; Gendelman, Howard E

    2009-01-01

    Degenerative and inflammatory diseases of the CNS include, but are not limited to, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, multiple sclerosis and HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders. These are common, debilitating and, unfortunately, hold few therapeutic options. In recent years, the application of nanotechnologies as commonly used or developing medicines has served to improve pharmacokinetics and drug delivery specifically to CNS-diseased areas. In addition, nanomedical advances are leading to therapies that target CNS pathobiology and as such, can interrupt disordered protein aggregation, deliver functional neuroprotective proteins and alter the oxidant state of affected neural tissues. This article focuses on the pathobiology of common neurodegenerative disorders with a view towards how nanomedicine may be used to improve the clinical course of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:19572820

  9. Epigenetic regulation in neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Gapp, K; Woldemichael, B T; Bohacek, J; Mansuy, I M

    2014-04-01

    From fertilization throughout development and until death, cellular programs in individual cells are dynamically regulated to fulfill multiple functions ranging from cell lineage specification to adaptation to internal and external stimuli. Such regulation is of major importance in brain cells, because the brain continues to develop long after birth and incorporates information from the environment across life. When compromised, these regulatory mechanisms can have detrimental consequences on neurodevelopment and lead to severe brain pathologies and neurodegenerative diseases in the adult individual. Elucidating these processes is essential to better understand their implication in disease etiology. Because they are strongly influenced by environmental factors, they have been postulated to depend on epigenetic mechanisms. This review describes recent studies that have identified epigenetic dysfunctions in the pathophysiology of several neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. It discusses currently known pathways and molecular targets implicated in pathologies including imprinting disorders, Rett syndrome, and Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Hungtinton's disease, and their relevance to these diseases. PMID:23256926

  10. Synthetic prions and other human neurodegenerative proteinopathies.

    PubMed

    Le, Nhat Tran Thanh; Narkiewicz, Joanna; Aulić, Suzana; Salzano, Giulia; Tran, Hoa Thanh; Scaini, Denis; Moda, Fabio; Giachin, Gabriele; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-09-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) are a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders. The common feature of these diseases is the pathological conversion of the normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into a β-structure-rich conformer-termed PrP(Sc). The latter can induce a self-perpetuating process leading to amplification and spreading of pathological protein assemblies. Much evidence suggests that PrP(Sc) itself is able to recruit and misfold PrP(C) into the pathological conformation. Recent data have shown that recombinant PrP(C) can be misfolded in vitro and the resulting synthetic conformers are able to induce the conversion of PrP(C) into PrP(Sc)in vivo. In this review we describe the state-of-the-art of the body of literature in this field. In addition, we describe a cell-based assay to test synthetic prions in cells, providing further evidence that synthetic amyloids are able to template conversion of PrP into prion inclusions. Studying prions might help to understand the pathological mechanisms governing other neurodegenerative diseases. Aggregation and deposition of misfolded proteins is a common feature of several neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other disorders. Although the proteins implicated in each of these diseases differ, they share a common prion mechanism. Recombinant proteins are able to aggregate in vitro into β-rich amyloid fibrils, sharing some features of the aggregates found in the brain. Several studies have reported that intracerebral inoculation of synthetic aggregates lead to unique pathology, which spread progressively to distal brain regions and reduced survival time in animals. Here, we review the prion-like features of different proteins involved in neurodegenerative disorders, such as α-synuclein, superoxide dismutase-1, amyloid-β and tau. PMID:25449570

  11. Autophagy and apoptosis dysfunction in neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Ghavami, Saeid; Shojaei, Shahla; Yeganeh, Behzad; Ande, Sudharsana R; Jangamreddy, Jaganmohan R; Mehrpour, Maryam; Christoffersson, Jonas; Chaabane, Wiem; Moghadam, Adel Rezaei; Kashani, Hessam H; Hashemi, Mohammad; Owji, Ali A; Łos, Marek J

    2014-01-01

    Autophagy and apoptosis are basic physiologic processes contributing to the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Autophagy encompasses pathways that target long-lived cytosolic proteins and damaged organelles. It involves a sequential set of events including double membrane formation, elongation, vesicle maturation and finally delivery of the targeted materials to the lysosome. Apoptotic cell death is best described through its morphology. It is characterized by cell rounding, membrane blebbing, cytoskeletal collapse, cytoplasmic condensation, and fragmentation, nuclear pyknosis, chromatin condensation/fragmentation, and formation of membrane-enveloped apoptotic bodies, that are rapidly phagocytosed by macrophages or neighboring cells. Neurodegenerative disorders are becoming increasingly prevalent, especially in the Western societies, with larger percentage of members living to an older age. They have to be seen not only as a health problem, but since they are care-intensive, they also carry a significant economic burden. Deregulation of autophagy plays a pivotal role in the etiology and/or progress of many of these diseases. Herein, we briefly review the latest findings that indicate the involvement of autophagy in neurodegenerative diseases. We provide a brief introduction to autophagy and apoptosis pathways focusing on the role of mitochondria and lysosomes. We then briefly highlight pathophysiology of common neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's diseases, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Then, we describe functions of autophagy and apoptosis in brain homeostasis, especially in the context of the aforementioned disorders. Finally, we discuss different ways that autophagy and apoptosis modulation may be employed for therapeutic intervention during the maintenance of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24211851

  12. The kynurenine pathway and neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Maddison, Daniel C; Giorgini, Flaviano

    2015-04-01

    Neuroactive metabolites of the kynurenine pathway (KP) of tryptophan degradation have been closely linked to the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid required for protein synthesis, and in higher eukaryotes is also converted into the key neurotransmitters serotonin and tryptamine. However, in mammals >95% of tryptophan is metabolized through the KP, ultimately leading to the production of nicotinamide adenosine dinucleotide (NAD(+)). A number of the pathway metabolites are neuroactive; e.g. can modulate activity of several glutamate receptors and generate/scavenge free radicals. Imbalances in absolute and relative levels of KP metabolites have been strongly associated with neurodegenerative disorders including Huntington's, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's diseases. The KP has also been implicated in the pathogenesis of other brain disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder), as well as several cancers and autoimmune disorders such as HIV. Pharmacological and genetic manipulation of the KP has been shown to ameliorate neurodegenerative phenotypes in a number of model organisms, suggesting that it could prove to be a viable target for the treatment of such diseases. Here, we provide an overview of the KP, its role in neurodegeneration and the current strategies for therapeutic targeting of the pathway. PMID:25773161

  13. Nitric Oxide Homeostasis in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Hannibal, Luciana

    2016-01-01

    The role of nitric oxide in the pathogenesis and progression of neurodegenerative illnesses such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases has become prominent over the years. Increased activity of the enzymes that produce reactive oxygen species, decreased activity of antioxidant enzymes and imbalances in glutathione pools mediate and mark the neurodegenerative process. Much of the oxidative damage of proteins is brought about by the overproduction of nitric oxide by nitric oxide synthases (NOS) and its subsequent reactivity with reactive oxygen species. Proteomic methods have advanced the field tremendously, by facilitating the quantitative assessment of differential expression patterns and oxidative modifications of proteins and alongside, mapping their non-canonical functions. As a signaling molecule involved in multiple biochemical pathways, the level of nitric oxide is subject to tight regulation. All three NOS isoforms display aberrant patterns of expression in Alzheimer's disease, altering intracellular signaling and routing oxidative stress in directions that are uncompounded. This review discusses the prime factors that control nitric oxide biosynthesis, reactivity footprints and ensuing effects in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26391043

  14. Auditory hallucinations induced by trazodone

    PubMed Central

    Shiotsuki, Ippei; Terao, Takeshi; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Hatano, Koji

    2014-01-01

    A 26-year-old female outpatient presenting with a depressive state suffered from auditory hallucinations at night. Her auditory hallucinations did not respond to blonanserin or paliperidone, but partially responded to risperidone. In view of the possibility that her auditory hallucinations began after starting trazodone, trazodone was discontinued, leading to a complete resolution of her auditory hallucinations. Furthermore, even after risperidone was decreased and discontinued, her auditory hallucinations did not recur. These findings suggest that trazodone may induce auditory hallucinations in some susceptible patients. PMID:24700048

  15. Applied research in auditory data representation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frysinger, Steve P.

    1990-08-01

    A class of data displays, characterized generally as Auditory Data Representation, is described and motivated. This type of data representation takes advantage of the tremendous pattern recognition capability of the human auditory channel. Audible displays offer an alternative means of conveying quantitative data to the analyst to facilitate information extraction, and are successfully used alone and in conjunction with visual displays. The Auditory Data Representation literature is reviewed, along with elements of the allied fields of investigation, Psychoacoustics and Musical Perception. A methodology for applied research in this field, based upon the well-developed discipline of psychophysics, is elaborated using a recent experiment as a case study. This method permits objective estimation of a data representation technique by comparing it to alternative displays for the pattern recognition task at hand. The psychophysical threshold of signal to noise level, for constant pattern recognition performance, is the measure of display effectiveness.

  16. 40 Hz auditory steady state response to linguistic features of stimuli during auditory hallucinations.

    PubMed

    Ying, Jun; Yan, Zheng; Gao, Xiao-rong

    2013-10-01

    The auditory steady state response (ASSR) may reflect activity from different regions of the brain, depending on the modulation frequency used. In general, responses induced by low rates (≤40 Hz) emanate mostly from central structures of the brain, and responses from high rates (≥80 Hz) emanate mostly from the peripheral auditory nerve or brainstem structures. Besides, it was reported that the gamma band ASSR (30-90 Hz) played an important role in working memory, speech understanding and recognition. This paper investigated the 40 Hz ASSR evoked by modulated speech and reversed speech. The speech was Chinese phrase voice, and the noise-like reversed speech was obtained by temporally reversing the speech. Both auditory stimuli were modulated with a frequency of 40 Hz. Ten healthy subjects and 5 patients with hallucination symptom participated in the experiment. Results showed reduction in left auditory cortex response when healthy subjects listened to the reversed speech compared with the speech. In contrast, when the patients who experienced auditory hallucinations listened to the reversed speech, the auditory cortex of left hemispheric responded more actively. The ASSR results were consistent with the behavior results of patients. Therefore, the gamma band ASSR is expected to be helpful for rapid and objective diagnosis of hallucination in clinic. PMID:24142731

  17. The Drosophila Auditory System

    PubMed Central

    Boekhoff-Falk, Grace; Eberl, Daniel F.

    2013-01-01

    Development of a functional auditory system in Drosophila requires specification and differentiation of the chordotonal sensilla of Johnston’s organ (JO) in the antenna, correct axonal targeting to the antennal mechanosensory and motor center (AMMC) in the brain, and synaptic connections to neurons in the downstream circuit. Chordotonal development in JO is functionally complicated by structural, molecular and functional diversity that is not yet fully understood, and construction of the auditory neural circuitry is only beginning to unfold. Here we describe our current understanding of developmental and molecular mechanisms that generate the exquisite functions of the Drosophila auditory system, emphasizing recent progress and highlighting important new questions arising from research on this remarkable sensory system. PMID:24719289

  18. Overriding auditory attentional capture.

    PubMed

    Dalton, Polly; Lavie, Nilli

    2007-02-01

    Attentional capture by color singletons during shape search can be eliminated when the target is not a feature singleton (Bacon & Egeth, 1994). This suggests that a "singleton detection" search strategy must be adopted for attentional capture to occur. Here we find similar effects on auditory attentional capture. Irrelevant high-intensity singletons interfered with an auditory search task when the target itself was also a feature singleton. However, singleton interference was eliminated when the target was not a singleton (i.e., when nontargets were made heterogeneous, or when more than one target sound was presented). These results suggest that auditory attentional capture depends on the observer's attentional set, as does visual attentional capture. The suggestion that hearing might act as an early warning system that would always be tuned to unexpected unique stimuli must therefore be modified to accommodate these strategy-dependent capture effects. PMID:17557587

  19. Action-related auditory ERP attenuation: Paradigms and hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Horváth, János

    2015-11-11

    A number studies have shown that the auditory N1 event-related potential (ERP) is attenuated when elicited by self-induced or self-generated sounds. Because N1 is a correlate of auditory feature- and event-detection, it was generally assumed that N1-attenuation reflected the cancellation of auditory re-afference, enabled by the internal forward modeling of the predictable sensory consequences of the given action. Focusing on paradigms utilizing non-speech actions, the present review summarizes recent progress on action-related auditory attenuation. Following a critical analysis of the most widely used, contingent paradigm, two further hypotheses on the possible causes of action-related auditory ERP attenuation are presented. The attention hypotheses suggest that auditory ERP attenuation is brought about by a temporary division of attention between the action and the auditory stimulation. The pre-activation hypothesis suggests that the attenuation is caused by the activation of a sensory template during the initiation of the action, which interferes with the incoming stimulation. Although each hypothesis can account for a number of findings, none of them can accommodate the whole spectrum of results. It is suggested that a better understanding of auditory ERP attenuation phenomena could be achieved by systematic investigations of the types of actions, the degree of action-effect contingency, and the temporal characteristics of action-effect contingency representation-buildup and -deactivation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Prediction and Attention. PMID:25843932

  20. Ocular motor abnormalities in neurodegenerative disorders

    PubMed Central

    Antoniades, C A; Kennard, C

    2015-01-01

    Eye movements are a source of valuable information to both clinicians and scientists as abnormalities of them frequently act as clues to the localization of a disease process. Classically, they are divided into two main types: those that hold the gaze, keeping images steady on the retina (vestibulo-ocular and optokinetic reflexes) and those that shift gaze and redirect the line of sight to a new object of interest (saccades, vergence, and smooth pursuit). Here we will review some of the major ocular motor abnormalities present in neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:25412716

  1. Overcoming obstacles to repurposing for neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Shineman, Diana W; Alam, John; Anderson, Margaret; Black, Sandra E; Carman, Aaron J; Cummings, Jeffrey L; Dacks, Penny A; Dudley, Joel T; Frail, Donald E; Green, Allan; Lane, Rachel F; Lappin, Debra; Simuni, Tanya; Stefanacci, Richard G; Sherer, Todd; Fillit, Howard M

    2014-01-01

    Repurposing Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs for a new indication may offer an accelerated pathway for new treatments to patients but is also fraught with significant commercial, regulatory, and reimbursement challenges. The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) convened an advisory panel in October 2013 to understand stakeholder perspectives related to repurposing FDA-approved drugs for neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we present opportunities on how philanthropy, industry, and government can begin to address these challenges, promote policy changes, and develop targeted funding strategies to accelerate the potential of FDA-approved repurposed drugs. PMID:25356422

  2. Overcoming obstacles to repurposing for neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Shineman, Diana W; Alam, John; Anderson, Margaret; Black, Sandra E; Carman, Aaron J; Cummings, Jeffrey L; Dacks, Penny A; Dudley, Joel T; Frail, Donald E; Green, Allan; Lane, Rachel F; Lappin, Debra; Simuni, Tanya; Stefanacci, Richard G; Sherer, Todd; Fillit, Howard M

    2014-07-01

    Repurposing Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs for a new indication may offer an accelerated pathway for new treatments to patients but is also fraught with significant commercial, regulatory, and reimbursement challenges. The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) convened an advisory panel in October 2013 to understand stakeholder perspectives related to repurposing FDA-approved drugs for neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we present opportunities on how philanthropy, industry, and government can begin to address these challenges, promote policy changes, and develop targeted funding strategies to accelerate the potential of FDA-approved repurposed drugs. PMID:25356422

  3. Auditory hedonic phenotypes in dementia: A behavioural and neuroanatomical analysis.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Phillip D; Downey, Laura E; Golden, Hannah L; Clark, Camilla N; Slattery, Catherine F; Paterson, Ross W; Schott, Jonathan M; Rohrer, Jonathan D; Rossor, Martin N; Warren, Jason D

    2015-06-01

    Patients with dementia may exhibit abnormally altered liking for environmental sounds and music but such altered auditory hedonic responses have not been studied systematically. Here we addressed this issue in a cohort of 73 patients representing major canonical dementia syndromes (behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), semantic dementia (SD), progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA) amnestic Alzheimer's disease (AD)) using a semi-structured caregiver behavioural questionnaire and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) of patients' brain MR images. Behavioural responses signalling abnormal aversion to environmental sounds, aversion to music or heightened pleasure in music ('musicophilia') occurred in around half of the cohort but showed clear syndromic and genetic segregation, occurring in most patients with bvFTD but infrequently in PNFA and more commonly in association with MAPT than C9orf72 mutations. Aversion to sounds was the exclusive auditory phenotype in AD whereas more complex phenotypes including musicophilia were common in bvFTD and SD. Auditory hedonic alterations correlated with grey matter loss in a common, distributed, right-lateralised network including antero-mesial temporal lobe, insula, anterior cingulate and nucleus accumbens. Our findings suggest that abnormalities of auditory hedonic processing are a significant issue in common dementias. Sounds may constitute a novel probe of brain mechanisms for emotional salience coding that are targeted by neurodegenerative disease. PMID:25929717

  4. Bigger Brains or Bigger Nuclei? Regulating the Size of Auditory Structures in Birds

    PubMed Central

    Kubke, M. Fabiana; Massoglia, Dino P.; Carr, Catherine E.

    2012-01-01

    Increases in the size of the neuronal structures that mediate specific behaviors are believed to be related to enhanced computational performance. It is not clear, however, what developmental and evolutionary mechanisms mediate these changes, nor whether an increase in the size of a given neuronal population is a general mechanism to achieve enhanced computational ability. We addressed the issue of size by analyzing the variation in the relative number of cells of auditory structures in auditory specialists and generalists. We show that bird species with different auditory specializations exhibit variation in the relative size of their hindbrain auditory nuclei. In the barn owl, an auditory specialist, the hind-brain auditory nuclei involved in the computation of sound location show hyperplasia. This hyperplasia was also found in songbirds, but not in non-auditory specialists. The hyperplasia of auditory nuclei was also not seen in birds with large body weight suggesting that the total number of cells is selected for in auditory specialists. In barn owls, differences observed in the relative size of the auditory nuclei might be attributed to modifications in neurogenesis and cell death. Thus, hyperplasia of circuits used for auditory computation accompanies auditory specialization in different orders of birds. PMID:14726625

  5. Auditory motion affects visual biological motion processing.

    PubMed

    Brooks, A; van der Zwan, R; Billard, A; Petreska, B; Clarke, S; Blanke, O

    2007-02-01

    The processing of biological motion is a critical, everyday task performed with remarkable efficiency by human sensory systems. Interest in this ability has focused to a large extent on biological motion processing in the visual modality (see, for example, Cutting, J. E., Moore, C., & Morrison, R. (1988). Masking the motions of human gait. Perception and Psychophysics, 44(4), 339-347). In naturalistic settings, however, it is often the case that biological motion is defined by input to more than one sensory modality. For this reason, here in a series of experiments we investigate behavioural correlates of multisensory, in particular audiovisual, integration in the processing of biological motion cues. More specifically, using a new psychophysical paradigm we investigate the effect of suprathreshold auditory motion on perceptions of visually defined biological motion. Unlike data from previous studies investigating audiovisual integration in linear motion processing [Meyer, G. F. & Wuerger, S. M. (2001). Cross-modal integration of auditory and visual motion signals. Neuroreport, 12(11), 2557-2560; Wuerger, S. M., Hofbauer, M., & Meyer, G. F. (2003). The integration of auditory and motion signals at threshold. Perception and Psychophysics, 65(8), 1188-1196; Alais, D. & Burr, D. (2004). No direction-specific bimodal facilitation for audiovisual motion detection. Cognitive Brain Research, 19, 185-194], we report the existence of direction-selective effects: relative to control (stationary) auditory conditions, auditory motion in the same direction as the visually defined biological motion target increased its detectability, whereas auditory motion in the opposite direction had the inverse effect. Our data suggest these effects do not arise through general shifts in visuo-spatial attention, but instead are a consequence of motion-sensitive, direction-tuned integration mechanisms that are, if not unique to biological visual motion, at least not common to all types of

  6. Systemic Redox Biomarkers in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Pastore, Anna; Petrillo, Sara; Piermarini, Emanuela; Piemonte, Fiorella

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by a gradual and selective loss of neurons. ROS overload has been proved to occur early in this heterogeneous group of disorders, indicating oxidative stress as a primer factor underlying their pathogenesis. Given the importance of a better knowledge of the cause/effect of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis and evolution of neurodegeneration, recent efforts have been focused on the identification and determination of stable markers that may reflect systemic oxidative stress. This review provides an overview of these systemic redox biomarkers and their responsiveness to antioxidant therapies. Redox biomarkers can be classified as molecules that are modified by interactions with ROS in the microenvironment and antioxidant molecules that change in response to increased oxidative stress. DNA, lipids (including phospholipids), proteins and carbohydrates are examples of molecules that can be modified by excessive ROS in vivo. Some modifications have direct effects on molecule functions (e.g. to inhibit enzyme function), but others merely reflect the degree of oxidative stress in the local environment. Testing of redox biomarkers in neurodegenerative diseases has 3 important goals: 1) to confirm the presence or absence of systemic oxidative stress; 2) to identify possible underlying (and potentially reversible) causes of neurodegeneration; and 3) to estimate the severity of the disease and the risk of progression. Reflecting pathological processes occurring in the whole body, redox biomarkers may pinpoint novel therapeutic targets and lead to diagnose diseases before they are clinically evident. PMID:26152129

  7. Mitochondrial genome changes and neurodegenerative diseases☆

    PubMed Central

    Pinto, Milena; Moraes, Carlos T.

    2014-01-01

    Mitochondria are essential organelles within the cell where most of the energy production occurs by the oxidative phosphorylation system (OXPHOS). Critical components of the OXPHOS are encoded by the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and therefore, mutations involving this genome can be deleterious to the cell. Post-mitotic tissues, such as muscle and brain, are most sensitive to mtDNA changes, due to their high energy requirements and non-proliferative status. It has been proposed that mtDNA biological features and location make it vulnerable to mutations, which accumulate over time. However, although the role of mtDNA damage has been conclusively connected to neuronal impairment in mitochondrial diseases, its role in age-related neurodegenerative diseases remains speculative. Here we review the pathophysiology of mtDNA mutations leading to neurodegeneration and discuss the insights obtained by studying mouse models of mtDNA dysfunction. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Misfolded Proteins, Mitochondrial Dysfunction, and Neurodegenerative Diseases. PMID:24252612

  8. HDL and Cognition in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Hottman, David A.; Chernick, Dustin; Cheng, Shaowu; Wang, Zhe; Li, Ling

    2014-01-01

    High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are a heterogeneous group of lipoproteins composed of various lipids and proteins. HDL is formed both in the systemic circulation and in the brain. In addition to being a crucial player in the reverse cholesterol transport pathway, HDL possesses a wide range of other functions including anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, pro-endothelial function, anti-thrombosis, and modulation of immune function. It has been firmly established that high plasma levels of HDL protect against cardiovascular disease. Accumulating evidence indicates that the beneficial role of HDL extends to many other systems including the central nervous system. Cognition is a complex brain function that includes all aspects of perception, thought, and memory. Cognitive function often declines during aging and this decline manifests as cognitive impairment/dementia in age-related and progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A growing concern is that no effective therapy is currently available to prevent or treat these devastating diseases. Emerging evidence suggests that HDL may play a pivotal role in preserving cognitive function under normal and pathological conditions. This review attempts to summarize recent genetic, clinical and experimental evidence for the impact of HDL on cognition in aging and in neurodegenerative disorders as well as the potential of HDL-enhancing approaches to improve cognitive function. PMID:25131449

  9. Diagnosis of Neurodegenerative Diseases: The Clinical Approach.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Río, Manuel; Caballero, Manuel Moreno; Górriz Sáez, Juan Manuel; Mínguez-Castellanos, Adolfo

    2016-01-01

    There are a number of clinical questions for which there are no easy answers, even for well-trained doctors. The diagnostic tool commonly used to assess cognitive impairment in neurodegenerative diseases is based on established clinical criteria. However, the differential diagnosis between disorders can be difficult, especially in early phases or atypical variants. This takes on particular importance when it is still possible to use an appropriate treatment. To solve this problem, physicians need to have access to an arsenal of diagnostic tests, such as neurofunctional imaging, that allow higher specificity in clinical assessment. However, the reliability of diagnostic tests may vary from one to the next, so the diagnostic validity of a given investigation must be estimated by comparing the results obtained from "true" criteria to the "gold standard" or reference test. While pathological analysis is considered to be the gold standard in a wide spectrum of diseases, it cannot be applied to neurological processes. Other approaches could provide solutions, including clinical patient follow-up, creation of a data bank or use of computer-aided diagnostic algorithms. In this article, we discuss the development of different methodological procedures related to analysis of diagnostic validity and present an example from our own experience based on the use of I-123-ioflupane-SPECT in the study of patients with movement disorders. The aim of this chapter is to approach the problem of diagnosis from the point of view of the clinician, taking into account specific aspects of neurodegenerative disease. PMID:26567736

  10. Engineering enhanced protein disaggregases for neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Jackrel, Meredith E; Shorter, James

    2015-01-01

    Protein misfolding and aggregation underpin several fatal neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). There are no treatments that directly antagonize the protein-misfolding events that cause these disorders. Agents that reverse protein misfolding and restore proteins to native form and function could simultaneously eliminate any deleterious loss-of-function or toxic gain-of-function caused by misfolded conformers. Moreover, a disruptive technology of this nature would eliminate self-templating conformers that spread pathology and catalyze formation of toxic, soluble oligomers. Here, we highlight our efforts to engineer Hsp104, a protein disaggregase from yeast, to more effectively disaggregate misfolded proteins connected with PD, ALS, and FTD. Remarkably subtle modifications of Hsp104 primary sequence yielded large gains in protective activity against deleterious α-synuclein, TDP-43, FUS, and TAF15 misfolding. Unusually, in many cases loss of amino acid identity at select positions in Hsp104 rather than specific mutation conferred a robust therapeutic gain-of-function. Nevertheless, the misfolding and toxicity of EWSR1, an RNA-binding protein with a prion-like domain linked to ALS and FTD, could not be buffered by potentiated Hsp104 variants, indicating that further amelioration of disaggregase activity or sharpening of substrate specificity is warranted. We suggest that neuroprotection is achievable for diverse neurodegenerative conditions via surprisingly subtle structural modifications of existing chaperones. PMID:25738979

  11. Polyphenols: Multipotent Therapeutic Agents in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bhullar, Khushwant S.; Rupasinghe, H. P. Vasantha

    2013-01-01

    Aging leads to numerous transitions in brain physiology including synaptic dysfunction and disturbances in cognition and memory. With a few clinically relevant drugs, a substantial portion of aging population at risk for age-related neurodegenerative disorders require nutritional intervention. Dietary intake of polyphenols is known to attenuate oxidative stress and reduce the risk for related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease (PD), and Huntington's disease (HD). Polyphenols exhibit strong potential to address the etiology of neurological disorders as they attenuate their complex physiology by modulating several therapeutic targets at once. Firstly, we review the advances in the therapeutic role of polyphenols in cell and animal models of AD, PD, MS, and HD and activation of drug targets for controlling pathological manifestations. Secondly, we present principle pathways in which polyphenol intake translates into therapeutic outcomes. In particular, signaling pathways like PPAR, Nrf2, STAT, HIF, and MAPK along with modulation of immune response by polyphenols are discussed. Although current polyphenol researches have limited impact on clinical practice, they have strong evidence and testable hypothesis to contribute clinical advances and drug discovery towards age-related neurological disorders. PMID:23840922

  12. [The role of thiamine in neurodegenerative diseases].

    PubMed

    Bubko, Irena; Gruber, Beata M; Anuszewska, Elżbieta L

    2015-01-01

    Vitamin B1 (thiamine) plays an important role in metabolism. It is indispensable for normal growth and development of the organism. Thiamine has a favourable impact on a number of systems, including the digestive, cardiovascular and nervous systems. It also stimulates the brain and improves the psycho-emotional state. Hence it is often called the vitamin of "reassurance of the spirit". Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin. It can be present in the free form as thiamine or as its phosphate esters: mono-, di- or triphosphate. The main source of thiamine as an exogenous vitamin is certain foodstuffs, but trace amounts can be synthesised by microorganisms of the large intestine. The recommended daily intake of thiamine is about 2.0 mg. Since vitamin B1 has no ability to accumulate in the organism, manifestations of its deficiency begin to appear very quickly. The chronic state of thiamine deficiency, to a large extent, because of its function, contributes to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. It was proved that supporting vitamin B1 therapy not only constitutes neuroprotection but can also have a favourable impact on advanced neurodegenerative diseases. This article presents the current state of knowledge as regards the effects of thiamine exerted through this vitamin in a number of diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Wernicke's encephalopathy or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and Huntington's disease. PMID:26400895

  13. Engineering enhanced protein disaggregases for neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Jackrel, Meredith E; Shorter, James

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Protein misfolding and aggregation underpin several fatal neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). There are no treatments that directly antagonize the protein-misfolding events that cause these disorders. Agents that reverse protein misfolding and restore proteins to native form and function could simultaneously eliminate any deleterious loss-of-function or toxic gain-of-function caused by misfolded conformers. Moreover, a disruptive technology of this nature would eliminate self-templating conformers that spread pathology and catalyze formation of toxic, soluble oligomers. Here, we highlight our efforts to engineer Hsp104, a protein disaggregase from yeast, to more effectively disaggregate misfolded proteins connected with PD, ALS, and FTD. Remarkably subtle modifications of Hsp104 primary sequence yielded large gains in protective activity against deleterious α-synuclein, TDP-43, FUS, and TAF15 misfolding. Unusually, in many cases loss of amino acid identity at select positions in Hsp104 rather than specific mutation conferred a robust therapeutic gain-of-function. Nevertheless, the misfolding and toxicity of EWSR1, an RNA-binding protein with a prion-like domain linked to ALS and FTD, could not be buffered by potentiated Hsp104 variants, indicating that further amelioration of disaggregase activity or sharpening of substrate specificity is warranted. We suggest that neuroprotection is achievable for diverse neurodegenerative conditions via surprisingly subtle structural modifications of existing chaperones. PMID:25738979

  14. Therapeutic potential of berberine against neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Jiang, WenXiao; Li, ShiHua; Li, XiaoJiang

    2015-06-01

    Berberine (BBR) is an organic small molecule isolated from various plants that have been used in traditional Chinese medicine. Isolation of this compound was its induction into modern medicine, and its usefulness became quickly apparent as seen in its ability to combat bacterial diarrhea, type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, inflammation, heart diseases, and more. However, BBR's effects on neurodegenerative diseases remained relatively unexplored until its ability to stunt Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression was characterized. In this review, we will delve into the multi-faceted defensive capabilities and bio-molecular pathways of BBR against AD, Parkinson's disease (PD), and trauma-induced neurodegeneration. The multiple effects of BBR, some of which enhance neuro-protective factors/pathways and others counteract targets that induce neurodegeneration, suggest that there are many more branches to the diverse capabilities of BBR that have yet to be uncovered. The promising results seen provide a convincing and substantial basis to support further scientific exploration and development of the therapeutic potential of BBR against neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25749423

  15. Biology of Mitochondria in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Lee J.

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are the most common human adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases. They are characterized by prominent age-related neurodegeneration in selectively vulnerable neural systems. Some forms of AD, PD, and ALS are inherited, and genes causing these diseases have been identified. Nevertheless, the mechanisms of the neuronal degeneration in these familial diseases, and in the more common idiopathic (sporadic) diseases, are unresolved. Genetic, biochemical, and morphological analyses of human AD, PD, and ALS, as well as their cell and animal models, reveal that mitochondria could have roles in this neurodegeneration. The varied functions and properties of mitochondria might render subsets of selectively vulnerable neurons intrinsically susceptible to cellular aging and stress and the overlying genetic variations. In AD, alterations in enzymes involved in oxidative phosphorylation, oxidative damage, and mitochondrial binding of Aβ and amyloid precursor protein have been reported. In PD, mutations in mitochondrial proteins have been identified and mitochondrial DNA mutations have been found in neurons in the substantia nigra. In ALS, changes occur in mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes and mitochondrial programmed cell death proteins. Transgenic mouse models of human neurodegenerative disease are beginning to reveal possible principles governing the biology of selective neuronal vulnerability that implicate mitochondria and the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. This chapter reviews several aspects of mitochondrial biology and how mitochondrial pathobiology might contribute to the mechanisms of neurodegeneration in AD, PD, and ALS. PMID:22482456

  16. Diffusion-MRI in neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Goveas, Joseph; O'Dwyer, Laurence; Mascalchi, Mario; Cosottini, Mirco; Diciotti, Stefano; De Santis, Silvia; Passamonti, Luca; Tessa, Carlo; Toschi, Nicola; Giannelli, Marco

    2015-09-01

    The ability to image the whole brain through ever more subtle and specific methods/contrasts has come to play a key role in understanding the basis of brain abnormalities in several diseases. In magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), "diffusion" (i.e. the random, thermally-induced displacements of water molecules over time) represents an extraordinarily sensitive contrast mechanism, and the exquisite structural detail it affords has proven useful in a vast number of clinical as well as research applications. Since diffusion-MRI is a truly quantitative imaging technique, the indices it provides can serve as potential imaging biomarkers which could allow early detection of pathological alterations as well as tracking and possibly predicting subtle changes in follow-up examinations and clinical trials. Accordingly, diffusion-MRI has proven useful in obtaining information to better understand the microstructural changes and neurophysiological mechanisms underlying various neurodegenerative disorders. In this review article, we summarize and explore the main applications, findings, perspectives as well as challenges and future research of diffusion-MRI in various neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington's disease and degenerative ataxias. PMID:25917917

  17. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy and other neurodegenerative proteinopathies.

    PubMed

    Tartaglia, Maria Carmela; Hazrati, Lili-Naz; Davis, Karen D; Green, Robin E A; Wennberg, Richard; Mikulis, David; Ezerins, Leo J; Keightley, Michelle; Tator, Charles

    2014-01-01

    "Chronic traumatic encephalopathy" (CTE) is described as a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disease believed to result from multiple concussions. Traditionally, concussions were considered benign events and although most people recover fully, about 10% develop a post-concussive syndrome with persisting neurological, cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms. CTE was once thought to be unique to boxers, but it has now been observed in many different athletes having suffered multiple concussions as well as in military personal after repeated blast injuries. Much remains unknown about the development of CTE but its pathological substrate is usually tau, similar to that seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). The aim of this "perspective" is to compare and contrast clinical and pathological CTE with the other neurodegenerative proteinopathies and highlight that there is an urgent need for understanding the relationship between concussion and the development of CTE as it may provide a window into the development of a proteinopathy and thus new avenues for treatment. PMID:24550810

  18. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy and other neurodegenerative proteinopathies

    PubMed Central

    Tartaglia, Maria Carmela; Hazrati, Lili-Naz; Davis, Karen D.; Green, Robin E. A.; Wennberg, Richard; Mikulis, David; Ezerins, Leo J.; Keightley, Michelle; Tator, Charles

    2014-01-01

    “Chronic traumatic encephalopathy” (CTE) is described as a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disease believed to result from multiple concussions. Traditionally, concussions were considered benign events and although most people recover fully, about 10% develop a post-concussive syndrome with persisting neurological, cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms. CTE was once thought to be unique to boxers, but it has now been observed in many different athletes having suffered multiple concussions as well as in military personal after repeated blast injuries. Much remains unknown about the development of CTE but its pathological substrate is usually tau, similar to that seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). The aim of this “perspective” is to compare and contrast clinical and pathological CTE with the other neurodegenerative proteinopathies and highlight that there is an urgent need for understanding the relationship between concussion and the development of CTE as it may provide a window into the development of a proteinopathy and thus new avenues for treatment. PMID:24550810

  19. Proactive Strategies for Managing the Behavior of Children with Neurodegenerative Diseases and Visual Impairment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loftin, M. M.; Koehler, W. S.

    1998-01-01

    Presents proactive strategies to help educators deal with challenging behaviors of children with visual impairments and neurodegenerative diseases. Strategies are provided for general noncompliance, difficulty with changed or novel routines, difficulty maintaining physical movement, significant variations in affect, and intense tantrums and other…

  20. The Diagnosis and Understanding of Apraxia of Speech: Why Including Neurodegenerative Etiologies May Be Important

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duffy, Joseph R.; Josephs, Keith A.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To discuss apraxia of speech (AOS) as it occurs in neurodegenerative disease (progressive AOS [PAOS]) and how its careful study may contribute to general concepts of AOS and help refine its diagnostic criteria. Method: The article summarizes our current understanding of the clinical features and neuroanatomical and pathologic correlates…

  1. Integration of auditory and vibrotactile stimuli: Effects of frequency

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, E. Courtenay; Reed, Charlotte M.; Braida, Louis D.

    2010-01-01

    Perceptual integration of vibrotactile and auditory sinusoidal tone pulses was studied in detection experiments as a function of stimulation frequency. Vibrotactile stimuli were delivered through a single channel vibrator to the left middle fingertip. Auditory stimuli were presented diotically through headphones in a background of 50 dB sound pressure level broadband noise. Detection performance for combined auditory-tactile presentations was measured using stimulus levels that yielded 63% to 77% correct unimodal performance. In Experiment 1, the vibrotactile stimulus was 250 Hz and the auditory stimulus varied between 125 and 2000 Hz. In Experiment 2, the auditory stimulus was 250 Hz and the tactile stimulus varied between 50 and 400 Hz. In Experiment 3, the auditory and tactile stimuli were always equal in frequency and ranged from 50 to 400 Hz. The highest rates of detection for the combined-modality stimulus were obtained when stimulating frequencies in the two modalities were equal or closely spaced (and within the Pacinian range). Combined-modality detection for closely spaced frequencies was generally consistent with an algebraic sum model of perceptual integration; wider-frequency spacings were generally better fit by a Pythagorean sum model. Thus, perceptual integration of auditory and tactile stimuli at near-threshold levels appears to depend both on absolute frequency and relative frequency of stimulation within each modality. PMID:21117754

  2. Auditory target detection in reverberation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zurek, Patrick M.; Freyman, Richard L.; Balakrishnan, Uma

    2004-04-01

    Measurements and theoretical predictions of auditory target detection in simulated reverberant conditions are reported. The target signals were pulsed 13-octave bands of noise and the masker signal was a continuous wideband noise. Target and masker signals were passed through a software simulation of a reverberant room with a rigid sphere modeling a listener's head. The location of the target was fixed while the location of the masker was varied in the simulated room. Degree of reverberation was controlled by varying the uniform acoustic absorption of the simulated room's surfaces. The resulting target and masker signals were presented to the listeners over headphones in monaural-left, monaural-right, or binaural listening modes. Changes in detection performance in the monaural listening modes were largely predictable from the changes in target-to-masker ratio in the target band, but with a few dB of extra masking in reverberation. Binaural detection performance was generally well predicted by applying Durlach's [in Foundations of Modern Auditory Theory (Academic, New York, 1972)] equalization-cancellation theory to the direct-plus-reverberant ear signals. Predictions in all cases were based on a statistical description of room acoustics and on acoustic diffraction by a sphere. The success of these detection models in the present well-controlled reverberant conditions suggests that they can be used to incorporate listening mode and source location as factors in speech-intelligibility predictions.

  3. Auditory Memory for Timbre

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKeown, Denis; Wellsted, David

    2009-01-01

    Psychophysical studies are reported examining how the context of recent auditory stimulation may modulate the processing of new sounds. The question posed is how recent tone stimulation may affect ongoing performance in a discrimination task. In the task, two complex sounds occurred in successive intervals. A single target component of one complex…

  4. Attention Modulates the Auditory Cortical Processing of Spatial and Category Cues in Naturalistic Auditory Scenes

    PubMed Central

    Renvall, Hanna; Staeren, Noël; Barz, Claudia S.; Ley, Anke; Formisano, Elia

    2016-01-01

    This combined fMRI and MEG study investigated brain activations during listening and attending to natural auditory scenes. We first recorded, using in-ear microphones, vocal non-speech sounds, and environmental sounds that were mixed to construct auditory scenes containing two concurrent sound streams. During the brain measurements, subjects attended to one of the streams while spatial acoustic information of the scene was either preserved (stereophonic sounds) or removed (monophonic sounds). Compared to monophonic sounds, stereophonic sounds evoked larger blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI responses in the bilateral posterior superior temporal areas, independent of which stimulus attribute the subject was attending to. This finding is consistent with the functional role of these regions in the (automatic) processing of auditory spatial cues. Additionally, significant differences in the cortical activation patterns depending on the target of attention were observed. Bilateral planum temporale and inferior frontal gyrus were preferentially activated when attending to stereophonic environmental sounds, whereas when subjects attended to stereophonic voice sounds, the BOLD responses were larger at the bilateral middle superior temporal gyrus and sulcus, previously reported to show voice sensitivity. In contrast, the time-resolved MEG responses were stronger for mono- than stereophonic sounds in the bilateral auditory cortices at ~360 ms after the stimulus onset when attending to the voice excerpts within the combined sounds. The observed effects suggest that during the segregation of auditory objects from the auditory background, spatial sound cues together with other relevant temporal and spectral cues are processed in an attention-dependent manner at the cortical locations generally involved in sound recognition. More synchronous neuronal activation during monophonic than stereophonic sound processing, as well as (local) neuronal inhibitory mechanisms in

  5. Antisense Gene Silencing: Therapy for Neurodegenerative Disorders?

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, Troels T.; Nielsen, Jørgen E.

    2013-01-01

    Since the first reports that double-stranded RNAs can efficiently silence gene expression in C. elegans, the technology of RNA interference (RNAi) has been intensively exploited as an experimental tool to study gene function. With the subsequent discovery that RNAi could also be applied to mammalian cells, the technology of RNAi expanded from being a valuable experimental tool to being an applicable method for gene-specific therapeutic regulation, and much effort has been put into further refinement of the technique. This review will focus on how RNAi has developed over the years and how the technique is exploited in a pre-clinical and clinical perspective in relation to neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24705213

  6. A Potential Alternative against Neurodegenerative Diseases: Phytodrugs.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Hernández, Jesús; Zaldívar-Machorro, Víctor Javier; Villanueva-Porras, David; Vega-Ávila, Elisa; Chavarría, Anahí

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (ND) primarily affect the neurons in the human brain secondary to oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. ND are more common and have a disproportionate impact on countries with longer life expectancies and represent the fourth highest source of overall disease burden in the high-income countries. A large majority of the medicinal plant compounds, such as polyphenols, alkaloids, and terpenes, have therapeutic properties. Polyphenols are the most common active compounds in herbs and vegetables consumed by man. The biological bioactivity of polyphenols against neurodegeneration is mainly due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiamyloidogenic effects. Multiple scientific studies support the use of herbal medicine in the treatment of ND; however, relevant aspects are still pending to explore such as metabolic analysis, pharmacokinetics, and brain bioavailability. PMID:26881043

  7. CSF biomarkers in neurodegenerative and vascular dementias.

    PubMed

    Llorens, Franc; Schmitz, Matthias; Ferrer, Isidro; Zerr, Inga

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases with abnormal protein aggregates such as Alzheimer's disease, tauopathies, synucleinopathies, and prionopathies, together with vascular encephalopathies, are cause of cognitive impairment and dementia. Identification of reliable biomarkers in biological fluids, particularly in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), is of extreme importance in optimizing the precise early clinical diagnosis of distinct entities and predicting the outcome in particular settings. In addition, the study of CSF biomarkers is useful to identify and monitor the underlying pathological processes developing in the central nervous system of affected individuals. Evidence suggests that levels of key CSF molecules correlate, in some circumstances, with prediction, disease progression, and severity of cognitive decline. Correlation of CSF markers and underlying pathological molecular substrates in brain is an exciting field for further study. However, while some dementias such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease have accurate CSF biomarkers, other disease types such as dementia with Lewy bodies, vascular dementia, and frontotemporal dementia lack reliable biomarkers for their specific clinical diagnosis. PMID:27016008

  8. A Potential Alternative against Neurodegenerative Diseases: Phytodrugs

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Hernández, Jesús; Zaldívar-Machorro, Víctor Javier; Villanueva-Porras, David; Vega-Ávila, Elisa; Chavarría, Anahí

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (ND) primarily affect the neurons in the human brain secondary to oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. ND are more common and have a disproportionate impact on countries with longer life expectancies and represent the fourth highest source of overall disease burden in the high-income countries. A large majority of the medicinal plant compounds, such as polyphenols, alkaloids, and terpenes, have therapeutic properties. Polyphenols are the most common active compounds in herbs and vegetables consumed by man. The biological bioactivity of polyphenols against neurodegeneration is mainly due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiamyloidogenic effects. Multiple scientific studies support the use of herbal medicine in the treatment of ND; however, relevant aspects are still pending to explore such as metabolic analysis, pharmacokinetics, and brain bioavailability. PMID:26881043

  9. Quantitative interaction proteomics of neurodegenerative disease proteins.

    PubMed

    Hosp, Fabian; Vossfeldt, Hannes; Heinig, Matthias; Vasiljevic, Djordje; Arumughan, Anup; Wyler, Emanuel; Landthaler, Markus; Hubner, Norbert; Wanker, Erich E; Lannfelt, Lars; Ingelsson, Martin; Lalowski, Maciej; Voigt, Aaron; Selbach, Matthias

    2015-05-19

    Several proteins have been linked to neurodegenerative disorders (NDDs), but their molecular function is not completely understood. Here, we used quantitative interaction proteomics to identify binding partners of Amyloid beta precursor protein (APP) and Presenilin-1 (PSEN1) for Alzheimer's disease (AD), Huntingtin (HTT) for Huntington's disease, Parkin (PARK2) for Parkinson's disease, and Ataxin-1 (ATXN1) for spinocerebellar ataxia type 1. Our network reveals common signatures of protein degradation and misfolding and recapitulates known biology. Toxicity modifier screens and comparison to genome-wide association studies show that interaction partners are significantly linked to disease phenotypes in vivo. Direct comparison of wild-type proteins and disease-associated variants identified binders involved in pathogenesis, highlighting the value of differential interactome mapping. Finally, we show that the mitochondrial protein LRPPRC interacts preferentially with an early-onset AD variant of APP. This interaction appears to induce mitochondrial dysfunction, which is an early phenotype of AD. PMID:25959826

  10. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Jakovcevski, Mira; Akbarian, Schahram

    2013-01-01

    The exploration of brain epigenomes, which consist of various types of DNA methylation and covalent histone modifications, is providing new and unprecedented insights into the mechanisms of normal neural development, neurological disease and aging. Traditionally, chromatin defects in brain were considered static lesions of early development that occurred in the context of rare genetic syndromes but it is now clear that mutations and maladaptations of the epigenetic machinery cover a much wider continuum, including adult-onset neurodegenerative disease. Here, we describe how recent advances in neuroepigenetics have contributed to an improved mechanistic understanding of developmental and degenerative brain disorders, as well as how they could influence the development of future therapies for these conditions. PMID:22869198

  11. PATHOLOGIES OF AXONAL TRANSPORT IN NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xin-An; Rizzo, Valerio; Puthanveettil, Sathyanarayanan V.

    2013-01-01

    Gene products such as organelles, proteins and RNAs are actively transported to synaptic terminals for the remodeling of pre-existing neuronal connections and formation of new ones. Proteins described as molecular motors mediate this transport and utilize specialized cytoskeletal proteins that function as molecular tracks for the motor based transport of cargos. Molecular motors such as kinesins and dynein's move along microtubule tracks formed by tubulins whereas myosin motors utilize tracks formed by actin. Deficits in active transport of gene products have been implicated in a number of neurological disorders. We describe such disorders collectively as “transportopathies”. Here we review current knowledge of critical components of active transport and their relevance to neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:23750323

  12. How many biomarkers to discriminate neurodegenerative dementia?

    PubMed

    Sancesario, Giulia M; Bernardini, Sergio

    2015-01-01

    A number of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers are currently used for the diagnosis of dementia. Opposite changes in the level of amyloid-β(1-42) versus total tau and phosphorylated-tau181 in the CSF reflect the specific pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the brain. This panel of biomarkers has proven to be effective to differentiate AD from controls and from the major types of neurodegenerative dementia, and to evaluate the progression from mild cognitive impairment to AD. In the absence of specific biomarkers reflecting the pathologies of the other most common forms of dementia, such as Lewy Body disease, Frontotemporal lobar degeneration, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, etc., the evaluation of biomarkers of AD pathology is used, attempting to exclude rather than to confirm AD. Other biomarkers included in the common clinical practice do not clearly relate to the underlying pathology: progranulin (PGRN) is a selective marker of frontotemporal dementia with mutations in the PGRN gene; the 14-3-3 protein is a highly sensitive and specific marker for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, but has to be used carefully in differentiating rapid progressive dementia; and α-synuclein is an emerging candidate biomarker of the different forms of synucleinopathy. This review summarizes several biomarkers of neurodegenerative dementia validated based on the neuropathological processes occurring in brain tissue. Notwithstanding the paucity of pathologically validated biomarkers and their high analytical variability, the combinations of these biomarkers may well represent a key and more precise analytical and diagnostic tool in the complex plethora of degenerative dementia. PMID:26292074

  13. Auditory risk estimates for youth target shooting

    PubMed Central

    Meinke, Deanna K.; Murphy, William J.; Finan, Donald S.; Lankford, James E.; Flamme, Gregory A.; Stewart, Michael; Soendergaard, Jacob; Jerome, Trevor W.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To characterize the impulse noise exposure and auditory risk for youth recreational firearm users engaged in outdoor target shooting events. The youth shooting positions are typically standing or sitting at a table, which places the firearm closer to the ground or reflective surface when compared to adult shooters. Design Acoustic characteristics were examined and the auditory risk estimates were evaluated using contemporary damage-risk criteria for unprotected adult listeners and the 120-dB peak limit suggested by the World Health Organization (1999) for children. Study sample Impulses were generated by 26 firearm/ammunition configurations representing rifles, shotguns, and pistols used by youth. Measurements were obtained relative to a youth shooter’s left ear. Results All firearms generated peak levels that exceeded the 120 dB peak limit suggested by the WHO for children. In general, shooting from the seated position over a tabletop increases the peak levels, LAeq8 and reduces the unprotected maximum permissible exposures (MPEs) for both rifles and pistols. Pistols pose the greatest auditory risk when fired over a tabletop. Conclusion Youth should utilize smaller caliber weapons, preferably from the standing position, and always wear hearing protection whenever engaging in shooting activities to reduce the risk for auditory damage. PMID:24564688

  14. Development of the auditory system

    PubMed Central

    Litovsky, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    Auditory development involves changes in the peripheral and central nervous system along the auditory pathways, and these occur naturally, and in response to stimulation. Human development occurs along a trajectory that can last decades, and is studied using behavioral psychophysics, as well as physiologic measurements with neural imaging. The auditory system constructs a perceptual space that takes information from objects and groups, segregates sounds, and provides meaning and access to communication tools such as language. Auditory signals are processed in a series of analysis stages, from peripheral to central. Coding of information has been studied for features of sound, including frequency, intensity, loudness, and location, in quiet and in the presence of maskers. In the latter case, the ability of the auditory system to perform an analysis of the scene becomes highly relevant. While some basic abilities are well developed at birth, there is a clear prolonged maturation of auditory development well into the teenage years. Maturation involves auditory pathways. However, non-auditory changes (attention, memory, cognition) play an important role in auditory development. The ability of the auditory system to adapt in response to novel stimuli is a key feature of development throughout the nervous system, known as neural plasticity. PMID:25726262

  15. Music lessons improve auditory perceptual and cognitive performance in deaf children.

    PubMed

    Rochette, Françoise; Moussard, Aline; Bigand, Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

    Despite advanced technologies in auditory rehabilitation of profound deafness, deaf children often exhibit delayed cognitive and linguistic development and auditory training remains a crucial element of their education. In the present cross-sectional study, we assess whether music would be a relevant tool for deaf children rehabilitation. In normal-hearing children, music lessons have been shown to improve cognitive and linguistic-related abilities, such as phonetic discrimination and reading. We compared auditory perception, auditory cognition, and phonetic discrimination between 14 profoundly deaf children who completed weekly music lessons for a period of 1.5-4 years and 14 deaf children who did not receive musical instruction. Children were assessed on perceptual and cognitive auditory tasks using environmental sounds: discrimination, identification, auditory scene analysis, auditory working memory. Transfer to the linguistic domain was tested with a phonetic discrimination task. Musically trained children showed better performance in auditory scene analysis, auditory working memory and phonetic discrimination tasks, and multiple regressions showed that success on these tasks was at least partly driven by music lessons. We propose that musical education contributes to development of general processes such as auditory attention and perception, which, in turn, facilitate auditory-related cognitive and linguistic processes. PMID:25071518

  16. Music Lessons Improve Auditory Perceptual and Cognitive Performance in Deaf Children

    PubMed Central

    Rochette, Françoise; Moussard, Aline; Bigand, Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

    Despite advanced technologies in auditory rehabilitation of profound deafness, deaf children often exhibit delayed cognitive and linguistic development and auditory training remains a crucial element of their education. In the present cross-sectional study, we assess whether music would be a relevant tool for deaf children rehabilitation. In normal-hearing children, music lessons have been shown to improve cognitive and linguistic-related abilities, such as phonetic discrimination and reading. We compared auditory perception, auditory cognition, and phonetic discrimination between 14 profoundly deaf children who completed weekly music lessons for a period of 1.5–4 years and 14 deaf children who did not receive musical instruction. Children were assessed on perceptual and cognitive auditory tasks using environmental sounds: discrimination, identification, auditory scene analysis, auditory working memory. Transfer to the linguistic domain was tested with a phonetic discrimination task. Musically trained children showed better performance in auditory scene analysis, auditory working memory and phonetic discrimination tasks, and multiple regressions showed that success on these tasks was at least partly driven by music lessons. We propose that musical education contributes to development of general processes such as auditory attention and perception, which, in turn, facilitate auditory-related cognitive and linguistic processes. PMID:25071518

  17. Spatial processing in the auditory cortex of the macaque monkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Recanzone, Gregg H.

    2000-10-01

    The patterns of cortico-cortical and cortico-thalamic connections of auditory cortical areas in the rhesus monkey have led to the hypothesis that acoustic information is processed in series and in parallel in the primate auditory cortex. Recent physiological experiments in the behaving monkey indicate that the response properties of neurons in different cortical areas are both functionally distinct from each other, which is indicative of parallel processing, and functionally similar to each other, which is indicative of serial processing. Thus, auditory cortical processing may be similar to the serial and parallel "what" and "where" processing by the primate visual cortex. If "where" information is serially processed in the primate auditory cortex, neurons in cortical areas along this pathway should have progressively better spatial tuning properties. This prediction is supported by recent experiments that have shown that neurons in the caudomedial field have better spatial tuning properties than neurons in the primary auditory cortex. Neurons in the caudomedial field are also better than primary auditory cortex neurons at predicting the sound localization ability across different stimulus frequencies and bandwidths in both azimuth and elevation. These data support the hypothesis that the primate auditory cortex processes acoustic information in a serial and parallel manner and suggest that this may be a general cortical mechanism for sensory perception.

  18. Localized Cell and Drug Delivery for Auditory Prostheses

    PubMed Central

    Hendricks, Jeffrey L.; Chikar, Jennifer A.; Crumling, Mark A.; Raphael, Yehoash; Martin, David C.

    2011-01-01

    Localized cell and drug delivery to the cochlea and central auditory pathway can improve the safety and performance of implanted auditory prostheses (APs). While generally successful, these devices have a number of limitations and adverse effects including limited tonal and dynamic ranges, channel interactions, unwanted stimulation of non-auditory nerves, immune rejection, and infections including meningitis. Many of these limitations are associated with the tissue reactions to implanted auditory prosthetic devices and the gradual degeneration of the auditory system following deafness. Strategies to reduce the insertion trauma, degeneration of target neurons, fibrous and bony tissue encapsulation, and immune activation can improve the viability of tissue required for AP function as well as improve the resolution of stimulation for reduced channel interaction and improved place-pitch and level discrimination. Many pharmaceutical compounds have been identified that promote the viability of auditory tissue and prevent inflammation and infection. Cell delivery and gene therapy have provided promising results for treating hearing loss and reversing degeneration. Currently, many clinical and experimental methods can produce extremely localized and sustained drug delivery to address AP limitations. These methods provide better control over drug concentrations while eliminating the adverse effects of systemic delivery. Many of these drug delivery techniques can be integrated into modern auditory prosthetic devices to optimize the tissue response to the implanted device and reduce the risk of infection or rejection. Together, these methods and pharmaceutical agents can be used to optimize the tissue-device interface for improved AP safety and effectiveness. PMID:18573323

  19. The auditory characteristics of children with inner auditory canal stenosis.

    PubMed

    Ai, Yu; Xu, Lei; Li, Li; Li, Jianfeng; Luo, Jianfen; Wang, Mingming; Fan, Zhaomin; Wang, Haibo

    2016-07-01

    Conclusions This study shows that the prevalence of auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) in the children with inner auditory canal (IAC) stenosis is much higher than those without IAC stenosis, regardless of whether they have other inner ear anomalies. In addition, the auditory characteristics of ANSD with IAC stenosis are significantly different from those of ANSD without any middle and inner ear malformations. Objectives To describe the auditory characteristics in children with IAC stenosis as well as to examine whether the narrow inner auditory canal is associated with ANSD. Method A total of 21 children, with inner auditory canal stenosis, participated in this study. A series of auditory tests were measured. Meanwhile, a comparative study was conducted on the auditory characteristics of ANSD, based on whether the children were associated with isolated IAC stenosis. Results Wave V in the ABR was not observed in all the patients, while cochlear microphonic (CM) response was detected in 81.1% ears with stenotic IAC. Sixteen of 19 (84.2%) ears with isolated IAC stenosis had CM response present on auditory brainstem responses (ABR) waveforms. There was no significant difference in ANSD characteristics between the children with and without isolated IAC stenosis. PMID:26981851

  20. Central auditory disorders: toward a neuropsychology of auditory objects

    PubMed Central

    Goll, Johanna C.; Crutch, Sebastian J.; Warren, Jason D.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose of review Analysis of the auditory environment, source identification and vocal communication all require efficient brain mechanisms for disambiguating, representing and understanding complex natural sounds as ‘auditory objects’. Failure of these mechanisms leads to a diverse spectrum of clinical deficits. Here we review current evidence concerning the phenomenology, mechanisms and brain substrates of auditory agnosias and related disorders of auditory object processing. Recent findings Analysis of lesions causing auditory object deficits has revealed certain broad anatomical correlations: deficient parsing of the auditory scene is associated with lesions involving the parieto-temporal junction, while selective disorders of sound recognition occur with more anterior temporal lobe or extra-temporal damage. Distributed neural networks have been increasingly implicated in the pathogenesis of such disorders as developmental dyslexia, congenital amusia and tinnitus. Auditory category deficits may arise from defective interaction of spectrotemporal encoding and executive and mnestic processes. Dedicated brain mechanisms are likely to process specialised sound objects such as voices and melodies. Summary Emerging empirical evidence suggests a clinically relevant, hierarchical and fractionated neuropsychological model of auditory object processing that provides a framework for understanding auditory agnosias and makes specific predictions to direct future work. PMID:20975559

  1. Early hominin auditory capacities.

    PubMed

    Quam, Rolf; Martínez, Ignacio; Rosa, Manuel; Bonmatí, Alejandro; Lorenzo, Carlos; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Conde Valverde, Mercedes; Jarabo, Pilar; Menter, Colin G; Thackeray, J Francis; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2015-09-01

    Studies of sensory capacities in past life forms have offered new insights into their adaptations and lifeways. Audition is particularly amenable to study in fossils because it is strongly related to physical properties that can be approached through their skeletal structures. We have studied the anatomy of the outer and middle ear in the early hominin taxa Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus and estimated their auditory capacities. Compared with chimpanzees, the early hominin taxa are derived toward modern humans in their slightly shorter and wider external auditory canal, smaller tympanic membrane, and lower malleus/incus lever ratio, but they remain primitive in the small size of their stapes footplate. Compared with chimpanzees, both early hominin taxa show a heightened sensitivity to frequencies between 1.5 and 3.5 kHz and an occupied band of maximum sensitivity that is shifted toward slightly higher frequencies. The results have implications for sensory ecology and communication, and suggest that the early hominin auditory pattern may have facilitated an increased emphasis on short-range vocal communication in open habitats. PMID:26601261

  2. Early hominin auditory capacities

    PubMed Central

    Quam, Rolf; Martínez, Ignacio; Rosa, Manuel; Bonmatí, Alejandro; Lorenzo, Carlos; de Ruiter, Darryl J.; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Conde Valverde, Mercedes; Jarabo, Pilar; Menter, Colin G.; Thackeray, J. Francis; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2015-01-01

    Studies of sensory capacities in past life forms have offered new insights into their adaptations and lifeways. Audition is particularly amenable to study in fossils because it is strongly related to physical properties that can be approached through their skeletal structures. We have studied the anatomy of the outer and middle ear in the early hominin taxa Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus and estimated their auditory capacities. Compared with chimpanzees, the early hominin taxa are derived toward modern humans in their slightly shorter and wider external auditory canal, smaller tympanic membrane, and lower malleus/incus lever ratio, but they remain primitive in the small size of their stapes footplate. Compared with chimpanzees, both early hominin taxa show a heightened sensitivity to frequencies between 1.5 and 3.5 kHz and an occupied band of maximum sensitivity that is shifted toward slightly higher frequencies. The results have implications for sensory ecology and communication, and suggest that the early hominin auditory pattern may have facilitated an increased emphasis on short-range vocal communication in open habitats. PMID:26601261

  3. The Role of Copper in Neurodegenerative Disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rose, Francis M.

    My research concerns the fundamental atomistic mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases and the methodologies by which they may be discerned. This thesis consists of three primary parts. The introductory material is the raison d'etre for this work and a critical overview of the specific physics, mathematics and algorithms used in this research. The methods are presented along with specific details in order to facilitate future replication and enhancement. With the groundwork of mechanisms and methods out of the way, we then explore a nouveau atomistic mechanism describing the onset of Parkinson's disease, a disease that has been closely linked to misfolded metalloproteins. Further exploration of neurodegeneration takes place in the following chapter, where a remedial approach to Alzheimer's disease via a simulated chelation of a metalloprotein is undertaken. Altogether, the methods and techniques applied here allow for simulated exploration of both the atomistic mechanisms of neurodegeneration and their potential remediation strategies. The beginning portion of the research efforts explore protein misfolding dynamics in the presence a copper ion. Misfolding of the human alpha-synuclein (aS) protein has been implicated as a central constituent in neurodegenerative disease. In Parkinson's disease (PD) in particular, aS is thought to be the causative participant when found concentrated into neuritic plaques. Here we propose a scenario involving the metal ion Cu2+ as the protein misfolding initiator of fibrillized aS, the chief component of neuritic plaques. From experimental results we know these misfolded proteins have a rich beta--sheet signature, a marker that we reproduce with our simulated model. This model identifies a process of structural modifications to a natively unfolded alpha-synuclein resulting in a partially folded intermediate with a well defined nucleation site. It serves as a precursor to the fully misfolded protein. Understanding the nucleation

  4. Auditory interfaces: The human perceiver

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colburn, H. Steven

    1991-01-01

    A brief introduction to the basic auditory abilities of the human perceiver with particular attention toward issues that may be important for the design of auditory interfaces is presented. The importance of appropriate auditory inputs to observers with normal hearing is probably related to the role of hearing as an omnidirectional, early warning system and to its role as the primary vehicle for communication of strong personal feelings.

  5. The Essential Complexity of Auditory Receptive Fields.

    PubMed

    Thorson, Ivar L; Liénard, Jean; David, Stephen V

    2015-12-01

    Encoding properties of sensory neurons are commonly modeled using linear finite impulse response (FIR) filters. For the auditory system, the FIR filter is instantiated in the spectro-temporal receptive field (STRF), often in the framework of the generalized linear model. Despite widespread use of the FIR STRF, numerous formulations for linear filters are possible that require many fewer parameters, potentially permitting more efficient and accurate model estimates. To explore these alternative STRF architectures, we recorded single-unit neural activity from auditory cortex of awake ferrets during presentation of natural sound stimuli. We compared performance of > 1000 linear STRF architectures, evaluating their ability to predict neural responses to a novel natural stimulus. Many were able to outperform the FIR filter. Two basic constraints on the architecture lead to the improved performance: (1) factorization of the STRF matrix into a small number of spectral and temporal filters and (2) low-dimensional parameterization of the factorized filters. The best parameterized model was able to outperform the full FIR filter in both primary and secondary auditory cortex, despite requiring fewer than 30 parameters, about 10% of the number required by the FIR filter. After accounting for noise from finite data sampling, these STRFs were able to explain an average of 40% of A1 response variance. The simpler models permitted more straightforward interpretation of sensory tuning properties. They also showed greater benefit from incorporating nonlinear terms, such as short term plasticity, that provide theoretical advances over the linear model. Architectures that minimize parameter count while maintaining maximum predictive power provide insight into the essential degrees of freedom governing auditory cortical function. They also maximize statistical power available for characterizing additional nonlinear properties that limit current auditory models. PMID:26683490

  6. The Essential Complexity of Auditory Receptive Fields

    PubMed Central

    Thorson, Ivar L.; Liénard, Jean; David, Stephen V.

    2015-01-01

    Encoding properties of sensory neurons are commonly modeled using linear finite impulse response (FIR) filters. For the auditory system, the FIR filter is instantiated in the spectro-temporal receptive field (STRF), often in the framework of the generalized linear model. Despite widespread use of the FIR STRF, numerous formulations for linear filters are possible that require many fewer parameters, potentially permitting more efficient and accurate model estimates. To explore these alternative STRF architectures, we recorded single-unit neural activity from auditory cortex of awake ferrets during presentation of natural sound stimuli. We compared performance of > 1000 linear STRF architectures, evaluating their ability to predict neural responses to a novel natural stimulus. Many were able to outperform the FIR filter. Two basic constraints on the architecture lead to the improved performance: (1) factorization of the STRF matrix into a small number of spectral and temporal filters and (2) low-dimensional parameterization of the factorized filters. The best parameterized model was able to outperform the full FIR filter in both primary and secondary auditory cortex, despite requiring fewer than 30 parameters, about 10% of the number required by the FIR filter. After accounting for noise from finite data sampling, these STRFs were able to explain an average of 40% of A1 response variance. The simpler models permitted more straightforward interpretation of sensory tuning properties. They also showed greater benefit from incorporating nonlinear terms, such as short term plasticity, that provide theoretical advances over the linear model. Architectures that minimize parameter count while maintaining maximum predictive power provide insight into the essential degrees of freedom governing auditory cortical function. They also maximize statistical power available for characterizing additional nonlinear properties that limit current auditory models. PMID:26683490

  7. Comparative Incidence of Conformational, Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    de Pedro-Cuesta, Jesús; Rábano, Alberto; Martínez-Martín, Pablo; Ruiz-Tovar, María; Alcalde-Cabero, Enrique; Almazán-Isla, Javier; Avellanal, Fuencisla; Calero, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    Background The purpose of this study was to identify incidence and survival patterns in conformational neurodegenerative disorders (CNDDs). Methods We identified 2563 reports on the incidence of eight conditions representing sporadic, acquired and genetic, protein-associated, i.e., conformational, NDD groups and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We selected 245 papers for full-text examination and application of quality criteria. Additionally, data-collection was completed with detailed information from British, Swedish, and Spanish registries on Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) forms, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and sporadic rapidly progressing neurodegenerative dementia (sRPNDd). For each condition, age-specific incidence curves, age-adjusted figures, and reported or calculated median survival were plotted and examined. Findings Based on 51 valid reported and seven new incidence data sets, nine out of eleven conditions shared specific features. Age-adjusted incidence per million person-years increased from ≤1.5 for sRPNDd, different CJD forms and Huntington's disease (HD), to 1589 and 2589 for AMD and Alzheimer's disease (AD) respectively. Age-specific profiles varied from (a) symmetrical, inverted V-shaped curves for low incidences to (b) those increasing with age for late-life sporadic CNDDs and for sRPNDd, with (c) a suggested, intermediate, non-symmetrical inverted V-shape for fronto-temporal dementia and Parkinson's disease. Frequently, peak age-specific incidences from 20–24 to ≥90 years increased with age at onset and survival. Distinct patterns were seen: for HD, with a low incidence, levelling off at middle age, and long median survival, 20 years; and for sRPNDd which displayed the lowest incidence, increasing with age, and a short median disease duration. Interpretation These results call for a unified population view of NDDs, with an age-at-onset-related pattern for acquired and sporadic CNDDs. The pattern linking age at onset to

  8. Human DNA methylomes of neurodegenerative diseases show common epigenomic patterns.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Mut, J V; Heyn, H; Vidal, E; Moran, S; Sayols, S; Delgado-Morales, R; Schultz, M D; Ansoleaga, B; Garcia-Esparcia, P; Pons-Espinal, M; de Lagran, M M; Dopazo, J; Rabano, A; Avila, J; Dierssen, M; Lott, I; Ferrer, I; Ecker, J R; Esteller, M

    2016-01-01

    Different neurodegenerative disorders often show similar lesions, such as the presence of amyloid plaques, TAU-neurotangles and synuclein inclusions. The genetically inherited forms are rare, so we wondered whether shared epigenetic aberrations, such as those affecting DNA methylation, might also exist. The studied samples were gray matter samples from the prefrontal cortex of control and neurodegenerative disease-associated cases. We performed the DNA methylation analyses of Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer-like neurodegenerative profile associated with Down's syndrome samples. The DNA methylation landscapes obtained show that neurodegenerative diseases share similar aberrant CpG methylation shifts targeting a defined gene set. Our findings suggest that neurodegenerative disorders might have similar pathogenetic mechanisms that subsequently evolve into different clinical entities. The identified aberrant DNA methylation changes can be used as biomarkers of the disorders and as potential new targets for the development of new therapies. PMID:26784972

  9. The Role of Oxidative Stress in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Geon Ha; Kim, Jieun E.; Rhie, Sandy Jeong

    2015-01-01

    Oxidative stress is induced by an imbalanced redox states, involving either excessive generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) or dysfunction of the antioxidant system. The brain is one of organs especially vulnerable to the effects of ROS because of its high oxygen demand and its abundance of peroxidation-susceptible lipid cells. Previous studies have demonstrated that oxidative stress plays a central role in a common pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Antioxidant therapy has been suggested for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, although the results with regard to their efficacy of treating neurodegenerative disease have been inconsistent. In this review, we will discuss the role of oxidative stress in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases and in vivo measurement of an index of damage by oxidative stress. Moreover, the present knowledge on antioxidant in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and future directions will be outlined. PMID:26713080

  10. Selective adaptation to "oddball" sounds by the human auditory system.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Andrew J R; Harper, Nicol S; Reiss, Joshua D; McAlpine, David

    2014-01-29

    Adaptation to both common and rare sounds has been independently reported in neurophysiological studies using probabilistic stimulus paradigms in small mammals. However, the apparent sensitivity of the mammalian auditory system to the statistics of incoming sound has not yet been generalized to task-related human auditory perception. Here, we show that human listeners selectively adapt to novel sounds within scenes unfolding over minutes. Listeners' performance in an auditory discrimination task remains steady for the most common elements within the scene but, after the first minute, performance improves for distinct and rare (oddball) sound elements, at the expense of rare sounds that are relatively less distinct. Our data provide the first evidence of enhanced coding of oddball sounds in a human auditory discrimination task and suggest the existence of an adaptive mechanism that tracks the long-term statistics of sounds and deploys coding resources accordingly. PMID:24478375

  11. Cerebral Toxocariasis: Silent Progression to Neurodegenerative Disorders?

    PubMed Central

    Holland, Celia V.; Loxton, Karen; Barghouth, Ursula

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Toxocara canis and T. cati are highly prevalent nematode infections of the intestines of dogs and cats. In paratenic hosts, larvae do not mature in the intestine but instead migrate through the somatic tissues and organs of the body. The presence of these migrating larvae can contribute to pathology. Toxocara larvae can invade the brains of humans, and while case descriptions of cerebral toxocariasis are historically rare, improved diagnosis and greater awareness have contributed to increased detection. Despite this, cerebral or neurological toxocariasis (NT) remains a poorly understood phenomenon. Furthermore, our understanding of cognitive deficits due to toxocariasis in human populations remains particularly deficient. Recent data describe an enhanced expression of biomarkers associated with brain injury, such as GFAP, AβPP, transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), NF-L, S100B, tTG, and p-tau, in mice receiving even low doses of Toxocara ova. Finally, this review outlines a hypothesis to explore the relationship between the presence of T. canis larvae in the brain and the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) due to enhanced AD-associated neurodegenerative biomarker expression. PMID:26062575

  12. Mutational Analysis of TARDBP in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ticozzi, Nicola; LeClerc, Ashley Lyn; Van-Blitterswijk, Marka; Keagle, Pamela; McKenna-Yasek, Diane M.; Sapp, Peter C.; Silani, Vincenzo; Wills, Anne-Marie; Brown, Robert H.; Landers, John E.

    2010-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are often characterized by the presence of aggregates of misfolded proteins. TDP-43 is a major component of these aggregates in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), but has also been observed in Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's Diseases (PD). In addition, mutations in the TARDBP gene, encoding TDP-43, have been found to be a significant cause of familial ALS (FALS). All mutations, except for one, have been found in exon 6. To confirm this observation in ALS and to investigate whether TARDBP may play a role in the pathogenesis of AD and PD, we screened for mutations in exon 6 of the TARDBP gene in three cohorts composed of 376 AD, 463 PD (18% familial PD) and 376 ALS patients (50% FALS). We found mutations in ∼7% of FALS and ∼0.5% of sporadic ALS (SALS) patients, including two novel mutations, p.N352T and p.G384R. In contrast, we did not find TARDBP mutations in our cohort of AD and PD patients. These results suggest that mutations in TARDBP are not a significant cause of AD and PD. PMID:20031275

  13. Peripheral arterial endothelial dysfunction of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Fukui, Yusuke; Hishikawa, Nozomi; Shang, Jingwei; Sato, Kota; Nakano, Yumiko; Morihara, Ryuta; Ohta, Yasuyuki; Yamashita, Toru; Abe, Koji

    2016-07-15

    This study evaluates endothelial functions of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease (PD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), multiple system atrophy (MSA) and spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA). The reactive hyperemia index (RHI) of peripheral arterial tonometry and serological data were compared between age- and gender-matched normal controls (n=302) and five disease groups (ALS; n=75, PD; n=180, PSP; n=30, MSA; n=35, SCA; n=53). Correlation analyses were performed in ALS with functional rating scale-revised (FRS-R), and in PD with the Hehn-Yahr scale (H-Y) and a heart to mediastinum ratio using (123)I-MIBG scintigraphy (MIBG). The RHI of ALS and PD, but not of PSP, MSA or SCA, were significantly lower than normal controls (p<0.01). ALS showed a negative correlation of RHI with serum triglycerides (TG) and immunoreactive insulin (IRI) levels, but not with disease severity (FRS-R) or rates of disease progression (∆FRS-R). On the other hand, PD showed a negative correlation of RHI with a progressive disease severity (H-Y) and a positive correlation of RHI with early/delayed MIBG scintigraphy, but not with serological data. The present study demonstrated significant declines of peripheral arterial endothelial functions in ALS and PD. The RHI of ALS was more correlated with disease duration and serum parameters while the RHI of PD was more correlated with disease severity and MIBG, suggesting different mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction. PMID:27288784

  14. Biomolecular Modulation of Neurodegenerative Events during Ageing

    PubMed Central

    Nebbioso, Marcella; Scarsella, Gianfranco; Librando, Aloisa; Pescosolido, Nicola

    2015-01-01

    The objective is to assess the modulation of retinal and optic nerve degenerative events induced by the combination of α-lipoic acid (ALA) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) in an animal model of ageing. For this study, 24 male Wistar-Harlan strain rats were left to age for up to 24 months. One group of rats was subjected to a diet supplemented with ALA and SOD for 8 weeks, while another group was used as a positive control and not subjected to any dietary treatment. To assess the cytoprotective effects of the antioxidants, a morphological analysis was carried out on sections of retina and optic nerve head, stained with haematoxylin-eosin, followed by an analysis of the modifications to nuclear DNA detected by the TUNEL technique. The lipid peroxidation assay was used to assess the damage induced by oxidative stress at cell membrane level. The molecules involved in apoptosis mediated by oxidative stress, such as caspase-3 and inducible nitric oxide synthase, were also assayed by immunolocalization and western blot. ALA and SOD are able to counteract senile neurodegenerative deterioration to the retina and optic nerve. Indeed, the combination of these antioxidant molecules can reduce oxidative stress levels and thus prevent both nuclear degradation and subsequent cell death. PMID:26583065

  15. Role of apolipoprotein E in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Giau, Vo Van; Bagyinszky, Eva; An, Seong Soo A; Kim, Sang Yun

    2015-01-01

    Apolipoprotein E (APOE) is a lipid-transport protein abundantly expressed in most neurons in the central nervous system. APOE-dependent alterations of the endocytic pathway can affect different functions. APOE binds to cell-surface receptors to deliver lipids and to the hydrophobic amyloid-β peptide, regulating amyloid-β aggregations and clearances in the brain. Several APOE isoforms with major structural differences were discovered and shown to influence the brain lipid transport, glucose metabolism, neuronal signaling, neuroinflammation, and mitochondrial function. This review will summarize the updated research progress on APOE functions and its role in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes mellitus, Type III hyperlipoproteinemia, vascular dementia, and ischemic stroke. Understanding the mutations in APOE, their structural properties, and their isoforms is important to determine its role in various diseases and to advance the development of therapeutic strategies. Targeting APOE may be a potential approach for diagnosis, risk assessment, prevention, and treatment of various neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases in humans. PMID:26213471

  16. Neurodegenerative Diseases: Neurotoxins as Sufficient Etiologic Agents?

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, Christopher A.; Höglinger, Günter U.

    2008-01-01

    A dominant paradigm in neurological disease research is that the primary etiological factors for diseases such as Alzheimer’s (AD), Parkinson’s (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are genetic. Opposed to this perspective are the clear observations from epidemiology that purely genetic casual factors account for a relatively small fraction of all cases. Many who support a genetic etiology for neurological disease take the view that while the percentages may be relatively small, these numbers will rise in the future with the inevitable discoveries of additional genetic mutations. The follow up argument is that even if the last is not true, the events triggered by the aberrant genes identified so far will be shown to impact the same neuronal cell death pathways as those activated by environmental factors that trigger most sporadic disease cases. In this article we present a countervailing view that environmental neurotoxins may be the sole sufficient factor in at least three neurological disease clusters. For each, neurotoxins have been isolated and characterized that, at least in animal models, faithfully reproduce each disorder without the need for genetic co-factors. Based on these data, we will propose a set of principles that would enable any potential toxin to be evaluated as an etiological factor in a given neurodegenerative disease. Finally, we will attempt to put environmental toxins into the context of possible genetically-determined susceptibility. PMID:17985252

  17. Auditory Discrimination and Auditory Sensory Behaviours in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Catherine R. G.; Happe, Francesca; Baird, Gillian; Simonoff, Emily; Marsden, Anita J. S.; Tregay, Jenifer; Phillips, Rebecca J.; Goswami, Usha; Thomson, Jennifer M.; Charman, Tony

    2009-01-01

    It has been hypothesised that auditory processing may be enhanced in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We tested auditory discrimination ability in 72 adolescents with ASD (39 childhood autism; 33 other ASD) and 57 IQ and age-matched controls, assessing their capacity for successful discrimination of the frequency, intensity and duration…

  18. Neuromechanistic Model of Auditory Bistability

    PubMed Central

    Rankin, James; Sussman, Elyse; Rinzel, John

    2015-01-01

    Sequences of higher frequency A and lower frequency B tones repeating in an ABA- triplet pattern are widely used to study auditory streaming. One may experience either an integrated percept, a single ABA-ABA- stream, or a segregated percept, separate but simultaneous streams A-A-A-A- and -B---B--. During minutes-long presentations, subjects may report irregular alternations between these interpretations. We combine neuromechanistic modeling and psychoacoustic experiments to study these persistent alternations and to characterize the effects of manipulating stimulus parameters. Unlike many phenomenological models with abstract, percept-specific competition and fixed inputs, our network model comprises neuronal units with sensory feature dependent inputs that mimic the pulsatile-like A1 responses to tones in the ABA- triplets. It embodies a neuronal computation for percept competition thought to occur beyond primary auditory cortex (A1). Mutual inhibition, adaptation and noise are implemented. We include slow NDMA recurrent excitation for local temporal memory that enables linkage across sound gaps from one triplet to the next. Percepts in our model are identified in the firing patterns of the neuronal units. We predict with the model that manipulations of the frequency difference between tones A and B should affect the dominance durations of the stronger percept, the one dominant a larger fraction of time, more than those of the weaker percept—a property that has been previously established and generalized across several visual bistable paradigms. We confirm the qualitative prediction with our psychoacoustic experiments and use the behavioral data to further constrain and improve the model, achieving quantitative agreement between experimental and modeling results. Our work and model provide a platform that can be extended to consider other stimulus conditions, including the effects of context and volition. PMID:26562507

  19. Neuromechanistic Model of Auditory Bistability.

    PubMed

    Rankin, James; Sussman, Elyse; Rinzel, John

    2015-11-01

    Sequences of higher frequency A and lower frequency B tones repeating in an ABA- triplet pattern are widely used to study auditory streaming. One may experience either an integrated percept, a single ABA-ABA- stream, or a segregated percept, separate but simultaneous streams A-A-A-A- and -B---B--. During minutes-long presentations, subjects may report irregular alternations between these interpretations. We combine neuromechanistic modeling and psychoacoustic experiments to study these persistent alternations and to characterize the effects of manipulating stimulus parameters. Unlike many phenomenological models with abstract, percept-specific competition and fixed inputs, our network model comprises neuronal units with sensory feature dependent inputs that mimic the pulsatile-like A1 responses to tones in the ABA- triplets. It embodies a neuronal computation for percept competition thought to occur beyond primary auditory cortex (A1). Mutual inhibition, adaptation and noise are implemented. We include slow NDMA recurrent excitation for local temporal memory that enables linkage across sound gaps from one triplet to the next. Percepts in our model are identified in the firing patterns of the neuronal units. We predict with the model that manipulations of the frequency difference between tones A and B should affect the dominance durations of the stronger percept, the one dominant a larger fraction of time, more than those of the weaker percept-a property that has been previously established and generalized across several visual bistable paradigms. We confirm the qualitative prediction with our psychoacoustic experiments and use the behavioral data to further constrain and improve the model, achieving quantitative agreement between experimental and modeling results. Our work and model provide a platform that can be extended to consider other stimulus conditions, including the effects of context and volition. PMID:26562507

  20. Auditory Reserve and the Legacy of Auditory Experience

    PubMed Central

    Skoe, Erika; Kraus, Nina

    2014-01-01

    Musical training during childhood has been linked to more robust encoding of sound later in life. We take this as evidence for an auditory reserve: a mechanism by which individuals capitalize on earlier life experiences to promote auditory processing. We assert that early auditory experiences guide how the reserve develops and is maintained over the lifetime. Experiences that occur after childhood, or which are limited in nature, are theorized to affect the reserve, although their influence on sensory processing may be less long-lasting and may potentially fade over time if not repeated. This auditory reserve may help to explain individual differences in how individuals cope with auditory impoverishment or loss of sensorineural function. PMID:25405381

  1. Delayed auditory feedback in polyglot simultaneous interpreters.

    PubMed

    Fabbro, F; Darò, V

    1995-03-01

    Twelve polyglot students of simultaneous interpretation and 12 controls (students of the faculty of Medicine) were submitted to a task of verbal fluency under amplified normal auditory feedback (NAF) and under three delayed auditory feedback (DAF) conditions with three different delay intervals (150, 200, and 250 msec). The control group showed a significant reduction in verbal fluency and a significant increase in the number of mistakes in all three DAF conditions. The interpreters' group, however, did not show any significant speech disruption neither in the subjects' mother tongue (L1) nor in their second language (L2) across all DAF conditions. Interpreters' general high verbal fluency along with their ability to pay less attention to their own verbal output make them more resistant to the interfering effects of DAF on speech. PMID:7757448

  2. [Diagnosis of auditory processing disorders in children].

    PubMed

    Ptok, M; Miller, S; Kühn, D

    2016-04-01

    Despite normal hearing thresholds in pure tone audiometry, 0.5-1 % of children have difficulty understanding what they hear. An auditory processing disorder (APD) can be assumed, which should be clarified and treated. Based on a selective literature search in the PubMed and Scopus databases using the term "auditory processing disorder", several consensus papers are discussed. Numerous studies on APD have revealed partially contradicting results, thus fueling critical discussion regarding validity and reliability-of specific audiometric APD methods and the APD construct in particular. In order to correctly advise parents and, where necessary, treat affected children, otorhinolaryngologists, phoniatrists, and pediatric audiologists must understand the psychometric properties of applied tests and have knowledge of current discussion. Diagnosis is generally a multistep interdisciplinary process. PMID:27038033

  3. Central auditory neurons have composite receptive fields.

    PubMed

    Kozlov, Andrei S; Gentner, Timothy Q

    2016-02-01

    High-level neurons processing complex, behaviorally relevant signals are sensitive to conjunctions of features. Characterizing the receptive fields of such neurons is difficult with standard statistical tools, however, and the principles governing their organization remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate multiple distinct receptive-field features in individual high-level auditory neurons in a songbird, European starling, in response to natural vocal signals (songs). We then show that receptive fields with similar characteristics can be reproduced by an unsupervised neural network trained to represent starling songs with a single learning rule that enforces sparseness and divisive normalization. We conclude that central auditory neurons have composite receptive fields that can arise through a combination of sparseness and normalization in neural circuits. Our results, along with descriptions of random, discontinuous receptive fields in the central olfactory neurons in mammals and insects, suggest general principles of neural computation across sensory systems and animal classes. PMID:26787894

  4. Central auditory neurons have composite receptive fields

    PubMed Central

    Kozlov, Andrei S.; Gentner, Timothy Q.

    2016-01-01

    High-level neurons processing complex, behaviorally relevant signals are sensitive to conjunctions of features. Characterizing the receptive fields of such neurons is difficult with standard statistical tools, however, and the principles governing their organization remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate multiple distinct receptive-field features in individual high-level auditory neurons in a songbird, European starling, in response to natural vocal signals (songs). We then show that receptive fields with similar characteristics can be reproduced by an unsupervised neural network trained to represent starling songs with a single learning rule that enforces sparseness and divisive normalization. We conclude that central auditory neurons have composite receptive fields that can arise through a combination of sparseness and normalization in neural circuits. Our results, along with descriptions of random, discontinuous receptive fields in the central olfactory neurons in mammals and insects, suggest general principles of neural computation across sensory systems and animal classes. PMID:26787894

  5. Hypermnesia using auditory input.

    PubMed

    Allen, J

    1992-07-01

    The author investigated whether hypermnesia would occur with auditory input. In addition, the author examined the effects of subjects' knowledge that they would later be asked to recall the stimuli. Two groups of 26 subjects each were given three successive recall trials after they listened to an audiotape of 59 high-imagery nouns. The subjects in the uninformed group were not told that they would later be asked to remember the words; those in the informed group were. Hypermnesia was evident, but only in the uninformed group. PMID:1447564

  6. Pediatric central auditory processing disorder showing elevated threshold on pure tone audiogram.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Yukihide; Nakagawa, Atsuko; Nagayasu, Rie; Sugaya, Akiko; Omichi, Ryotaro; Kariya, Shin; Fukushima, Kunihiro; Nishizaki, Kazunori

    2016-10-01

    Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) is a condition in which dysfunction in the central auditory system causes difficulty in listening to conversations, particularly under noisy conditions, despite normal peripheral auditory function. Central auditory testing is generally performed in patients with normal hearing on the pure tone audiogram (PTA). This report shows that diagnosis of CAPD is possible even in the presence of an elevated threshold on the PTA, provided that the normal function of the peripheral auditory pathway was verified by distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE), auditory brainstem response (ABR), and auditory steady state response (ASSR). Three pediatric cases (9- and 10-year-old girls and an 8-year-old boy) of CAPD with elevated thresholds on PTAs are presented. The chief complaint was difficulty in listening to conversations. PTA showed elevated thresholds, but the responses and thresholds for DPOAE, ABR, and ASSR were normal, showing that peripheral auditory function was normal. Significant findings of central auditory testing such as dichotic speech tests, time compression of speech signals, and binaural interaction tests confirmed the diagnosis of CAPD. These threshold shifts in PTA may provide a new concept of a clinical symptom due to central auditory dysfunction in CAPD. PMID:26922127

  7. Auditory neglect and related disorders.

    PubMed

    Gutschalk, Alexander; Dykstra, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Neglect is a neurologic disorder, typically associated with lesions of the right hemisphere, in which patients are biased towards their ipsilesional - usually right - side of space while awareness for their contralesional - usually left - side is reduced or absent. Neglect is a multimodal disorder that often includes deficits in the auditory domain. Classically, auditory extinction, in which left-sided sounds that are correctly perceived in isolation are not detected in the presence of synchronous right-sided stimulation, has been considered the primary sign of auditory neglect. However, auditory extinction can also be observed after unilateral auditory cortex lesions and is thus not specific for neglect. Recent research has shown that patients with neglect are also impaired in maintaining sustained attention, on both sides, a fact that is reflected by an impairment of auditory target detection in continuous stimulation conditions. Perhaps the most impressive auditory symptom in full-blown neglect is alloacusis, in which patients mislocalize left-sided sound sources to their right, although even patients with less severe neglect still often show disturbance of auditory spatial perception, most commonly a lateralization bias towards the right. We discuss how these various disorders may be explained by a single model of neglect and review emerging interventions for patient rehabilitation. PMID:25726290

  8. Word Recognition in Auditory Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeWitt, Iain D. J.

    2013-01-01

    Although spoken word recognition is more fundamental to human communication than text recognition, knowledge of word-processing in auditory cortex is comparatively impoverished. This dissertation synthesizes current models of auditory cortex, models of cortical pattern recognition, models of single-word reading, results in phonetics and results in…

  9. Neurodegenerative diseases: From available treatments to prospective herbal therapy.

    PubMed

    Solanki, Isha; Parihar, Priyanka; Parihar, Mordhwaj Singh

    2016-05-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and many others represent a relevant health problem with age worldwide. Efforts have been made in recent years to discover the mechanism of neurodegenerative diseases and prospective therapy that can help to slow down the effects of the aging and prevent these diseases. Since pathogenesis of these diseases involves multiple factors therefore the important task for neuroscientists is to identify such multiple factors and prevent age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. For these neurodegenerative diseases yet we have only palliative therapies and none of them significantly capable to slow down or halt the underlying pathology. Polyphenolic compounds such as flavonoids present in vegetables and fruits are believed to have anti-aging properties and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Despite their abundance, investigations into the benefits of these polyphenolic compounds in human health have only recently begun. Preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated the potential beneficial effects of flavonoids in neurons. Although clinical trials on the effectiveness of dietary flavonoids to treat human diseases are limited but various animal models and cell culture studies have shown a great promise in developing these compounds as suitable therapeutic targets. In this review, we elaborate the neuroprotective properties of flavonoids especially their applications in prevention and intervention of different neurodegenerative diseases. Their multi-target properties may allow them to be potential dietary supplement in prevention and treatment of the age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26550708

  10. Midbrain auditory selectivity to natural sounds.

    PubMed

    Wohlgemuth, Melville J; Moss, Cynthia F

    2016-03-01

    This study investigated auditory stimulus selectivity in the midbrain superior colliculus (SC) of the echolocating bat, an animal that relies on hearing to guide its orienting behaviors. Multichannel, single-unit recordings were taken across laminae of the midbrain SC of the awake, passively listening big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus. Species-specific frequency-modulated (FM) echolocation sound sequences with dynamic spectrotemporal features served as acoustic stimuli along with artificial sound sequences matched in bandwidth, amplitude, and duration but differing in spectrotemporal structure. Neurons in dorsal sensory regions of the bat SC responded selectively to elements within the FM sound sequences, whereas neurons in ventral sensorimotor regions showed broad response profiles to natural and artificial stimuli. Moreover, a generalized linear model (GLM) constructed on responses in the dorsal SC to artificial linear FM stimuli failed to predict responses to natural sounds and vice versa, but the GLM produced accurate response predictions in ventral SC neurons. This result suggests that auditory selectivity in the dorsal extent of the bat SC arises through nonlinear mechanisms, which extract species-specific sensory information. Importantly, auditory selectivity appeared only in responses to stimuli containing the natural statistics of acoustic signals used by the bat for spatial orientation-sonar vocalizations-offering support for the hypothesis that sensory selectivity enables rapid species-specific orienting behaviors. The results of this study are the first, to our knowledge, to show auditory spectrotemporal selectivity to natural stimuli in SC neurons and serve to inform a more general understanding of mechanisms guiding sensory selectivity for natural, goal-directed orienting behaviors. PMID:26884152

  11. Midbrain auditory selectivity to natural sounds

    PubMed Central

    Moss, Cynthia F.

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated auditory stimulus selectivity in the midbrain superior colliculus (SC) of the echolocating bat, an animal that relies on hearing to guide its orienting behaviors. Multichannel, single-unit recordings were taken across laminae of the midbrain SC of the awake, passively listening big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus. Species-specific frequency-modulated (FM) echolocation sound sequences with dynamic spectrotemporal features served as acoustic stimuli along with artificial sound sequences matched in bandwidth, amplitude, and duration but differing in spectrotemporal structure. Neurons in dorsal sensory regions of the bat SC responded selectively to elements within the FM sound sequences, whereas neurons in ventral sensorimotor regions showed broad response profiles to natural and artificial stimuli. Moreover, a generalized linear model (GLM) constructed on responses in the dorsal SC to artificial linear FM stimuli failed to predict responses to natural sounds and vice versa, but the GLM produced accurate response predictions in ventral SC neurons. This result suggests that auditory selectivity in the dorsal extent of the bat SC arises through nonlinear mechanisms, which extract species-specific sensory information. Importantly, auditory selectivity appeared only in responses to stimuli containing the natural statistics of acoustic signals used by the bat for spatial orientation—sonar vocalizations—offering support for the hypothesis that sensory selectivity enables rapid species-specific orienting behaviors. The results of this study are the first, to our knowledge, to show auditory spectrotemporal selectivity to natural stimuli in SC neurons and serve to inform a more general understanding of mechanisms guiding sensory selectivity for natural, goal-directed orienting behaviors. PMID:26884152

  12. The Perception of Auditory Motion

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Johahn

    2016-01-01

    The growing availability of efficient and relatively inexpensive virtual auditory display technology has provided new research platforms to explore the perception of auditory motion. At the same time, deployment of these technologies in command and control as well as in entertainment roles is generating an increasing need to better understand the complex processes underlying auditory motion perception. This is a particularly challenging processing feat because it involves the rapid deconvolution of the relative change in the locations of sound sources produced by rotational and translations of the head in space (self-motion) to enable the perception of actual source motion. The fact that we perceive our auditory world to be stable despite almost continual movement of the head demonstrates the efficiency and effectiveness of this process. This review examines the acoustical basis of auditory motion perception and a wide range of psychophysical, electrophysiological, and cortical imaging studies that have probed the limits and possible mechanisms underlying this perception. PMID:27094029

  13. The Perception of Auditory Motion.

    PubMed

    Carlile, Simon; Leung, Johahn

    2016-01-01

    The growing availability of efficient and relatively inexpensive virtual auditory display technology has provided new research platforms to explore the perception of auditory motion. At the same time, deployment of these technologies in command and control as well as in entertainment roles is generating an increasing need to better understand the complex processes underlying auditory motion perception. This is a particularly challenging processing feat because it involves the rapid deconvolution of the relative change in the locations of sound sources produced by rotational and translations of the head in space (self-motion) to enable the perception of actual source motion. The fact that we perceive our auditory world to be stable despite almost continual movement of the head demonstrates the efficiency and effectiveness of this process. This review examines the acoustical basis of auditory motion perception and a wide range of psychophysical, electrophysiological, and cortical imaging studies that have probed the limits and possible mechanisms underlying this perception. PMID:27094029

  14. Auditory color constancy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kluender, Keith R.; Kiefte, Michael

    2003-10-01

    It is both true and efficient that sensorineural systems respond to change and little else. Perceptual systems do not record absolute level be it loudness, pitch, brightness, or color. This fact has been demonstrated in every sensory domain. For example, the visual system is remarkable at maintaining color constancy over widely varying illumination such as sunlight and varieties of artificial light (incandescent, fluorescent, etc.) for which spectra reflected from objects differ dramatically. Results will be reported for a series of experiments demonstrating how auditory systems similarly compensate for reliable characteristics of spectral shape in acoustic signals. Specifically, listeners' perception of vowel sounds, characterized by both local (e.g., formants) and broad (e.g., tilt) spectral composition, changes radically depending upon reliable spectral composition of precursor signals. These experiments have been conducted using a variety of precursor signals consisting of meaningful and time-reversed vocoded sentences, as well as novel nonspeech precursors consisting of multiple filter poles modulating sinusoidally across a source spectrum with specific local and broad spectral characteristics. Constancy across widely varying spectral compositions shares much in common with visual color constancy. However, auditory spectral constancy appears to be more effective than visual constancy in compensating for local spectral fluctuations. [Work supported by NIDCD DC-04072.

  15. Rapid estimation of high-parameter auditory-filter shapes

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Yi; Sivakumar, Rajeswari; Richards, Virginia M.

    2014-01-01

    A Bayesian adaptive procedure, the quick-auditory-filter (qAF) procedure, was used to estimate auditory-filter shapes that were asymmetric about their peaks. In three experiments, listeners who were naive to psychoacoustic experiments detected a fixed-level, pure-tone target presented with a spectrally notched noise masker. The qAF procedure adaptively manipulated the masker spectrum level and the position of the masker notch, which was optimized for the efficient estimation of the five parameters of an auditory-filter model. Experiment I demonstrated that the qAF procedure provided a convergent estimate of the auditory-filter shape at 2 kHz within 150 to 200 trials (approximately 15 min to complete) and, for a majority of listeners, excellent test-retest reliability. In experiment II, asymmetric auditory filters were estimated for target frequencies of 1 and 4 kHz and target levels of 30 and 50 dB sound pressure level. The estimated filter shapes were generally consistent with published norms, especially at the low target level. It is known that the auditory-filter estimates are narrower for forward masking than simultaneous masking due to peripheral suppression, a result replicated in experiment III using fewer than 200 qAF trials. PMID:25324086

  16. Rapid estimation of high-parameter auditory-filter shapes.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yi; Sivakumar, Rajeswari; Richards, Virginia M

    2014-10-01

    A Bayesian adaptive procedure, the quick-auditory-filter (qAF) procedure, was used to estimate auditory-filter shapes that were asymmetric about their peaks. In three experiments, listeners who were naive to psychoacoustic experiments detected a fixed-level, pure-tone target presented with a spectrally notched noise masker. The qAF procedure adaptively manipulated the masker spectrum level and the position of the masker notch, which was optimized for the efficient estimation of the five parameters of an auditory-filter model. Experiment I demonstrated that the qAF procedure provided a convergent estimate of the auditory-filter shape at 2 kHz within 150 to 200 trials (approximately 15 min to complete) and, for a majority of listeners, excellent test-retest reliability. In experiment II, asymmetric auditory filters were estimated for target frequencies of 1 and 4 kHz and target levels of 30 and 50 dB sound pressure level. The estimated filter shapes were generally consistent with published norms, especially at the low target level. It is known that the auditory-filter estimates are narrower for forward masking than simultaneous masking due to peripheral suppression, a result replicated in experiment III using fewer than 200 qAF trials. PMID:25324086

  17. Cross auditory-spatial learning in early-blind individuals.

    PubMed

    Chan, Chetwyn C H; Wong, Alex W K; Ting, Kin-Hung; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; He, Jufang; Lee, Tatia M C

    2012-11-01

    Cross-modal processing enables the utilization of information received via different sensory organs to facilitate more complicated human actions. We used functional MRI on early-blind individuals to study the neural processes associated with cross auditory-spatial learning. The auditory signals, converted from echoes of ultrasonic signals emitted from a navigation device, were novel to the participants. The subjects were trained repeatedly for 4 weeks in associating the auditory signals with different distances. Subjects' blood-oxygenation-level-dependent responses were captured at baseline and after training using a sound-to-distance judgment task. Whole-brain analyses indicated that the task used in the study involved auditory discrimination as well as spatial localization. The learning process was shown to be mediated by the inferior parietal cortex and the hippocampus, suggesting the integration and binding of auditory features to distances. The right cuneus was found to possibly serve a general rather than a specific role, forming an occipital-enhanced network for cross auditory-spatial learning. This functional network is likely to be unique to those with early blindness, since the normal-vision counterparts shared activities only in the parietal cortex. PMID:21932260

  18. Integrated processing of spatial cues in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Salminen, Nelli H; Takanen, Marko; Santala, Olli; Lamminsalo, Jarkko; Altoè, Alessandro; Pulkki, Ville

    2015-09-01

    Human sound source localization relies on acoustical cues, most importantly, the interaural differences in time and level (ITD and ILD). For reaching a unified representation of auditory space the auditory nervous system needs to combine the information provided by these two cues. In search for such a unified representation, we conducted a magnetoencephalography (MEG) experiment that took advantage of the location-specific adaptation of the auditory cortical N1 response. In general, the attenuation caused by a preceding adaptor sound to the response elicited by a probe depends on their spatial arrangement: if the two sounds coincide, adaptation is stronger than when the locations differ. Here, we presented adaptor-probe pairs that contained different localization cues, for instance, adaptors with ITD and probes with ILD. We found that the adaptation of the N1 amplitude was location-specific across localization cues. This result can be explained by the existence of auditory cortical neurons that are sensitive to sound source location independent on which cue, ITD or ILD, provides the location information. Such neurons would form a cue-independent, unified representation of auditory space in human auditory cortex. PMID:26074304

  19. Presentation of dynamically overlapping auditory messages in user interfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Papp, A.L.

    1997-09-01

    This dissertation describes a methodology and example implementation for the dynamic regulation of temporally overlapping auditory messages in computer-user interfaces. The regulation mechanism exists to schedule numerous overlapping auditory messages in such a way that each individual message remains perceptually distinct from all others. The method is based on the research conducted in the area of auditory scene analysis. While numerous applications have been engineered to present the user with temporally overlapped auditory output, they have generally been designed without any structured method of controlling the perceptual aspects of the sound. The method of scheduling temporally overlapping sounds has been extended to function in an environment where numerous applications can present sound independently of each other. The Centralized Audio Presentation System is a global regulation mechanism that controls all audio output requests made from all currently running applications. The notion of multimodal objects is explored in this system as well. Each audio request that represents a particular message can include numerous auditory representations, such as musical motives and voice. The Presentation System scheduling algorithm selects the best representation according to the current global auditory system state, and presents it to the user within the request constraints of priority and maximum acceptable latency. The perceptual conflicts between temporally overlapping audio messages are examined in depth through the Computational Auditory Scene Synthesizer. At the heart of this system is a heuristic-based auditory scene synthesis scheduling method. Different schedules of overlapped sounds are evaluated and assigned penalty scores. High scores represent presentations that include perceptual conflicts between over-lapping sounds. Low scores indicate fewer and less serious conflicts. A user study was conducted to validate that the perceptual difficulties predicted by

  20. Early Blindness Results in Developmental Plasticity for Auditory Motion Processing within Auditory and Occipital Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Fang; Stecker, G. Christopher; Boynton, Geoffrey M.; Fine, Ione

    2016-01-01

    Early blind subjects exhibit superior abilities for processing auditory motion, which are accompanied by enhanced BOLD responses to auditory motion within hMT+ and reduced responses within right planum temporale (rPT). Here, by comparing BOLD responses to auditory motion in hMT+ and rPT within sighted controls, early blind, late blind, and sight-recovery individuals, we were able to separately examine the effects of developmental and adult visual deprivation on cortical plasticity within these two areas. We find that both the enhanced auditory motion responses in hMT+ and the reduced functionality in rPT are driven by the absence of visual experience early in life; neither loss nor recovery of vision later in life had a discernable influence on plasticity within these areas. Cortical plasticity as a result of blindness has generally be presumed to be mediated by competition across modalities within a given cortical region. The reduced functionality within rPT as a result of early visual loss implicates an additional mechanism for cross modal plasticity as a result of early blindness—competition across different cortical areas for functional role. PMID:27458357

  1. Early Blindness Results in Developmental Plasticity for Auditory Motion Processing within Auditory and Occipital Cortex.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Fang; Stecker, G Christopher; Boynton, Geoffrey M; Fine, Ione

    2016-01-01

    Early blind subjects exhibit superior abilities for processing auditory motion, which are accompanied by enhanced BOLD responses to auditory motion within hMT+ and reduced responses within right planum temporale (rPT). Here, by comparing BOLD responses to auditory motion in hMT+ and rPT within sighted controls, early blind, late blind, and sight-recovery individuals, we were able to separately examine the effects of developmental and adult visual deprivation on cortical plasticity within these two areas. We find that both the enhanced auditory motion responses in hMT+ and the reduced functionality in rPT are driven by the absence of visual experience early in life; neither loss nor recovery of vision later in life had a discernable influence on plasticity within these areas. Cortical plasticity as a result of blindness has generally be presumed to be mediated by competition across modalities within a given cortical region. The reduced functionality within rPT as a result of early visual loss implicates an additional mechanism for cross modal plasticity as a result of early blindness-competition across different cortical areas for functional role. PMID:27458357

  2. The Process of Auditory Distraction: Disrupted Attention and Impaired Recall in a Simulated Lecture Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zeamer, Charlotte; Fox Tree, Jean E.

    2013-01-01

    Literature on auditory distraction has generally focused on the effects of particular kinds of sounds on attention to target stimuli. In support of extensive previous findings that have demonstrated the special role of language as an auditory distractor, we found that a concurrent speech stream impaired recall of a short lecture, especially for…

  3. Why neurodegenerative diseases are progressive: uncontrolled inflammation drives disease progression

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Hui-Ming; Hong, Jau-Shyong

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are a group of chronic, progressive disorders characterized by the gradual loss of neurons in discrete areas of the central nervous system (CNS). The mechanism(s) underlying their progressive nature remains unknown but a timely and well-controlled inflammatory reaction is essential for the integrity and proper function of the CNS. Substantial evidence has documented a common inflammatory mechanism in various neurodegenerative diseases. We hypothesize that in the diseased CNS, interactions between damaged neurons and dysregulated, overactivated microglia create a vicious self-propagating cycle causing uncontrolled, prolonged inflammation that drives the chronic progression of neurodegenerative diseases. We further propose that dynamic modulation of this inflammatory reaction by interrupting the vicious cycle might become a disease-modifying therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:18599350

  4. A network approach to clinical intervention in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Santiago, Jose A; Potashkin, Judith A

    2014-12-01

    Network biology has become a powerful tool to dissect the molecular mechanisms triggering neurodegeneration. Recent developments in network biology have led to the discovery of disease-causing genes, diagnostic biomarkers, and therapeutic targets for several neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases. Network-based approaches have provided the molecular rationale for the relationship among cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases, and have uncovered unexpected links between apparently unrelated diseases. Here, we summarize the recent advances in network biology to untangle the molecular underpinnings giving rise to the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases. We propose that network analysis provides a feasible and practical tool for identifying biologically meaningful biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets for clinical intervention in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25455073

  5. Spectrin Breakdown Products (SBDPs) as Potential Biomarkers for Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Xiao-Xin; Jeromin, Andreas; Jeromin, A.

    2013-01-01

    The world’s human population ages rapidly thanks to the great advance in modern medicine. While more and more body system diseases become treatable and curable, age-related neurodegenerative diseases remain poorly understood mechanistically, and are desperately in need of preventive and therapeutic interventions. Biomarker development consists of a key part of concerted effort in combating neurodegenerative diseases. In many chronic neurodegenerative conditions, neuronal damage/death occurs long before the onset of disease symptoms, and abnormal proteolysis may either play an active role or be a companying event of neuronal injury. Increased spectrin cleavage yielding elevated spectrin breakdown products (SBDPs) by calcium-sensitive proteases such as calpain and caspases has been established in conditions associated with acute neuronal damage such as traumatic brain injury (TBI). Here we review literature regarding spectrin expression and metabolism in the brain, and propose a potential use of SBDPs as biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s diseases. PMID:23710421

  6. Glial cell inclusions and the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Miller, David W.; Cookson, Mark R.; Dickson, Dennis W.

    2006-01-01

    In this review, we discuss examples that show how glial-cell pathology is increasingly recognized in several neurodegenerative diseases. We also discuss the more provocative idea that some of the disorders that are currently considered to be neurodegenerative diseases might, in fact, be due to primary abnormalities in glia. Although the mechanism of glial pathology (i.e. modulating glutamate excitotoxicity) might be better established for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a role for neuronal–glial interactions in the pathogenesis of most neurodegenerative diseases is plausible. This burgeoning area of neuroscience will receive much attention in the future and it is expected that further understanding of basic neuronal–glial interactions will have a significant impact on the understanding of the fundamental nature of human neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:16614753

  7. Stress, allostatic load, catecholamines, and other neurotransmitters in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, David S

    2012-07-01

    As populations age, the prevalence of geriatric neurodegenerative diseases will increase. These diseases generally are multifactorial, arising from complex interactions among genes, environment, concurrent morbidities,treatments, and time. This essay provides a concept for the pathogenesis of Lewy body diseases such as Parkinson disease, by considering them in the context of allostasis and allostatic load. Allostasis reflects active, adaptive processes that maintain apparent steady states, via multiple,interacting effectors regulated by homeostatic comparators—"homeostats". Stress can be defined as a condition or state in which a sensed discrepancy between afferent information and a setpoint for response leads to activation of effectors, reducing the discrepancy. "Allostatic load" refers to the consequences of sustained or repeated activation of mediators of allostasis. From the analogy of an idling car, the revolutions per minute of the engine can be maintained at any of a variety of levels (allostatic states).Just as allostatic load (cumulative wear and tear) reflects design and manufacturing variations, byproducts of combustion,and time, eventually leading to engine breakdown,allostatic load in catecholaminergic neurons might eventually lead to Lewy body diseases. Central to the argument is that catecholaminergic neurons leak vesicular contents into the cytoplasm continuously during life and that catecholaminesin the neuronal cytoplasm are autotoxic. These neurons therefore depend on vesicular sequestration to limit autotoxicity of cytosolic transmitter. Parkinson disease might be a disease of the elderly because of allostatic load, which depends on genetic predispositions,environmental exposures, repeated stress-related catecholamine release, and time. PMID:22297542

  8. Stress, allostatic load, catecholamines, and other neurotransmitters in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, D S

    2011-04-01

    As populations age, the prevalence of geriatric neurodegenerative diseases will increase. These diseases generally are multifactorial, arising from complex interactions among genes, environment, concurrent morbidities, treatments, and time. This essay provides a concept for the pathogenesis of Lewy body diseases such as Parkinson disease, by considering them in the context of allostasis and allostatic load. Allostasis reflects active, adaptive processes that maintain apparent steady states, via multiple interacting effectors regulated by homeostatic comparators-"homeostats." Stress can be defined as a condition or state in which a sensed discrepancy between afferent information and a setpoint for response leads to activation of effectors, reducing the discrepancy. "Allostatic load" refers to the consequences of sustained or repeated activation of mediators of allostasis. From the analogy of an idling car, the revolutions per minute of the engine can be maintained at any of a variety of levels (allostatic states). Just as allostatic load (cumulative wear and tear) reflects design and manufacturing variations, byproducts of combustion, and time, eventually leading to engine breakdown, allostatic load in catecholaminergic neurons might eventually lead to Lewy body diseases. Central to the argument is that catecholamines in the neuronal cytoplasm are autotoxic and that catecholamines from storage visicles leak into the cytoplasm continuously during life. These neurons therefore depend on vesicular sequestration to limit autotoxicity of cytosolic transmitter. Parkinson disease might be a disease of the elderly because of allostatic load, which depends on genetic predispositions, environmental exposures, repeated stress-related catecholamine release, and time. PMID:21615193

  9. Stress, Allostatic Load, Catecholamines, and Other Neurotransmitters in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    As populations age, the prevalence of geriatric neurodegenerative diseases will increase. These diseases generally are multifactorial, arising from complex interactions among genes, environment, concurrent morbidities, treatments, and time. This essay provides a concept for the pathogenesis of Lewy body diseases such as Parkinson disease, by considering them in the context of allostasis and allostatic load. Allostasis reflects active, adaptive processes that maintain apparent steady states, via multiple, interacting effectors regulated by homeostatic comparators—“homeostats.” Stress can be defined as a condition or state in which a sensed discrepancy between afferent information and a setpoint for response leads to activation of effectors, reducing the discrepancy. “Allostatic load” refers to the consequences of sustained or repeated activation of mediators of allostasis. From the analogy of an idling car, the revolutions per minute of the engine can be maintained at any of a variety of levels (allostatic states). Just as allostatic load (cumulative wear and tear) reflects design and manufacturing variations, byproducts of combustion, and time, eventually leading to engine breakdown, allostatic load in catecholaminergic neurons might eventually lead to Lewy body diseases. Central to the argument is that catecholaminergic neurons leak vesicular contents into the cytoplasm continuously during life and that catecholamines in the neuronal cytoplasm are autotoxic. These neurons therefore depend on vesicular sequestration to limit autotoxicity of cytosolic transmitter. Parkinson disease might be a disease of the elderly because of allostatic load, which depends on genetic predispositions, environmental exposures, repeated stress-related catecholamine release, and time. PMID:22297542

  10. Auditory Discrimination Learning: Role of Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Moore, David R.; Guiraud, Jeanne; Molloy, Katharine; Yan, Ting-Ting; Amitay, Sygal

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual training is generally assumed to improve perception by modifying the encoding or decoding of sensory information. However, this assumption is incompatible with recent demonstrations that transfer of learning can be enhanced by across-trial variation of training stimuli or task. Here we present three lines of evidence from healthy adults in support of the idea that the enhanced transfer of auditory discrimination learning is mediated by working memory (WM). First, the ability to discriminate small differences in tone frequency or duration was correlated with WM measured with a tone n-back task. Second, training frequency discrimination around a variable frequency transferred to and from WM learning, but training around a fixed frequency did not. The transfer of learning in both directions was correlated with a reduction of the influence of stimulus variation in the discrimination task, linking WM and its improvement to across-trial stimulus interaction in auditory discrimination. Third, while WM training transferred broadly to other WM and auditory discrimination tasks, variable-frequency training on duration discrimination did not improve WM, indicating that stimulus variation challenges and trains WM only if the task demands stimulus updating in the varied dimension. The results provide empirical evidence as well as a theoretic framework for interactions between cognitive and sensory plasticity during perceptual experience. PMID:26799068

  11. BALDEY: A database of auditory lexical decisions.

    PubMed

    Ernestus, Mirjam; Cutler, Anne

    2015-01-01

    In an auditory lexical decision experiment, 5541 spoken content words and pseudowords were presented to 20 native speakers of Dutch. The words vary in phonological make-up and in number of syllables and stress pattern, and are further representative of the native Dutch vocabulary in that most are morphologically complex, comprising two stems or one stem plus derivational and inflectional suffixes, with inflections representing both regular and irregular paradigms; the pseudowords were matched in these respects to the real words. The BALDEY ("biggest auditory lexical decision experiment yet") data file includes response times and accuracy rates, with for each item morphological information plus phonological and acoustic information derived from automatic phonemic segmentation of the stimuli. Two initial analyses illustrate how this data set can be used. First, we discuss several measures of the point at which a word has no further neighbours and compare the degree to which each measure predicts our lexical decision response outcomes. Second, we investigate how well four different measures of frequency of occurrence (from written corpora, spoken corpora, subtitles, and frequency ratings by 75 participants) predict the same outcomes. These analyses motivate general conclusions about the auditory lexical decision task. The (publicly available) BALDEY database lends itself to many further analyses. PMID:25397865

  12. Auditory Discrimination Learning: Role of Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Moore, David R; Guiraud, Jeanne; Molloy, Katharine; Yan, Ting-Ting; Amitay, Sygal

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual training is generally assumed to improve perception by modifying the encoding or decoding of sensory information. However, this assumption is incompatible with recent demonstrations that transfer of learning can be enhanced by across-trial variation of training stimuli or task. Here we present three lines of evidence from healthy adults in support of the idea that the enhanced transfer of auditory discrimination learning is mediated by working memory (WM). First, the ability to discriminate small differences in tone frequency or duration was correlated with WM measured with a tone n-back task. Second, training frequency discrimination around a variable frequency transferred to and from WM learning, but training around a fixed frequency did not. The transfer of learning in both directions was correlated with a reduction of the influence of stimulus variation in the discrimination task, linking WM and its improvement to across-trial stimulus interaction in auditory discrimination. Third, while WM training transferred broadly to other WM and auditory discrimination tasks, variable-frequency training on duration discrimination did not improve WM, indicating that stimulus variation challenges and trains WM only if the task demands stimulus updating in the varied dimension. The results provide empirical evidence as well as a theoretic framework for interactions between cognitive and sensory plasticity during perceptual experience. PMID:26799068

  13. Cortical auditory disorders: clinical and psychoacoustic features.

    PubMed Central

    Mendez, M F; Geehan, G R

    1988-01-01

    The symptoms of two patients with bilateral cortical auditory lesions evolved from cortical deafness to other auditory syndromes: generalised auditory agnosia, amusia and/or pure word deafness, and a residual impairment of temporal sequencing. On investigation, both had dysacusis, absent middle latency evoked responses, acoustic errors in sound recognition and matching, inconsistent auditory behaviours, and similarly disturbed psychoacoustic discrimination tasks. These findings indicate that the different clinical syndromes caused by cortical auditory lesions form a spectrum of related auditory processing disorders. Differences between syndromes may depend on the degree of involvement of a primary cortical processing system, the more diffuse accessory system, and possibly the efferent auditory system. Images PMID:2450968

  14. Idealized computational models for auditory receptive fields.

    PubMed

    Lindeberg, Tony; Friberg, Anders

    2015-01-01

    We present a theory by which idealized models of auditory receptive fields can be derived in a principled axiomatic manner, from a set of structural properties to (i) enable invariance of receptive field responses under natural sound transformations and (ii) ensure internal consistency between spectro-temporal receptive fields at different temporal and spectral scales. For defining a time-frequency transformation of a purely temporal sound signal, it is shown that the framework allows for a new way of deriving the Gabor and Gammatone filters as well as a novel family of generalized Gammatone filters, with additional degrees of freedom to obtain different trade-offs between the spectral selectivity and the temporal delay of time-causal temporal window functions. When applied to the definition of a second-layer of receptive fields from a spectrogram, it is shown that the framework leads to two canonical families of spectro-temporal receptive fields, in terms of spectro-temporal derivatives of either spectro-temporal Gaussian kernels for non-causal time or a cascade of time-causal first-order integrators over the temporal domain and a Gaussian filter over the logspectral domain. For each filter family, the spectro-temporal receptive fields can be either separable over the time-frequency domain or be adapted to local glissando transformations that represent variations in logarithmic frequencies over time. Within each domain of either non-causal or time-causal time, these receptive field families are derived by uniqueness from the assumptions. It is demonstrated how the presented framework allows for computation of basic auditory features for audio processing and that it leads to predictions about auditory receptive fields with good qualitative similarity to biological receptive fields measured in the inferior colliculus (ICC) and primary auditory cortex (A1) of mammals. PMID:25822973

  15. Idealized Computational Models for Auditory Receptive Fields

    PubMed Central

    Lindeberg, Tony; Friberg, Anders

    2015-01-01

    We present a theory by which idealized models of auditory receptive fields can be derived in a principled axiomatic manner, from a set of structural properties to (i) enable invariance of receptive field responses under natural sound transformations and (ii) ensure internal consistency between spectro-temporal receptive fields at different temporal and spectral scales. For defining a time-frequency transformation of a purely temporal sound signal, it is shown that the framework allows for a new way of deriving the Gabor and Gammatone filters as well as a novel family of generalized Gammatone filters, with additional degrees of freedom to obtain different trade-offs between the spectral selectivity and the temporal delay of time-causal temporal window functions. When applied to the definition of a second-layer of receptive fields from a spectrogram, it is shown that the framework leads to two canonical families of spectro-temporal receptive fields, in terms of spectro-temporal derivatives of either spectro-temporal Gaussian kernels for non-causal time or a cascade of time-causal first-order integrators over the temporal domain and a Gaussian filter over the logspectral domain. For each filter family, the spectro-temporal receptive fields can be either separable over the time-frequency domain or be adapted to local glissando transformations that represent variations in logarithmic frequencies over time. Within each domain of either non-causal or time-causal time, these receptive field families are derived by uniqueness from the assumptions. It is demonstrated how the presented framework allows for computation of basic auditory features for audio processing and that it leads to predictions about auditory receptive fields with good qualitative similarity to biological receptive fields measured in the inferior colliculus (ICC) and primary auditory cortex (A1) of mammals. PMID:25822973

  16. Auditory response to pulsed radiofrequency energy.

    PubMed

    Elder, J A; Chou, C K

    2003-01-01

    The human auditory response to pulses of radiofrequency (RF) energy, commonly called RF hearing, is a well established phenomenon. RF induced sounds can be characterized as low intensity sounds because, in general, a quiet environment is required for the auditory response. The sound is similar to other common sounds such as a click, buzz, hiss, knock, or chirp. Effective radiofrequencies range from 2.4 to 10000 MHz, but an individual's ability to hear RF induced sounds is dependent upon high frequency acoustic hearing in the kHz range above about 5 kHz. The site of conversion of RF energy to acoustic energy is within or peripheral to the cochlea, and once the cochlea is stimulated, the detection of RF induced sounds in humans and RF induced auditory responses in animals is similar to acoustic sound detection. The fundamental frequency of RF induced sounds is independent of the frequency of the radiowaves but dependent upon head dimensions. The auditory response has been shown to be dependent upon the energy in a single pulse and not on average power density. The weight of evidence of the results of human, animal, and modeling studies supports the thermoelastic expansion theory as the explanation for the RF hearing phenomenon. RF induced sounds involve the perception via bone conduction of thermally generated sound transients, that is, audible sounds are produced by rapid thermal expansion resulting from a calculated temperature rise of only 5 x 10(-6) degrees C in tissue at the threshold level due to absorption of the energy in the RF pulse. The hearing of RF induced sounds at exposure levels many orders of magnitude greater than the hearing threshold is considered to be a biological effect without an accompanying health effect. This conclusion is supported by a comparison of pressure induced in the body by RF pulses to pressure associated with hazardous acoustic energy and clinical ultrasound procedures. PMID:14628312

  17. Immunotherapy for neurodegenerative diseases: focus on α-synucleinopathies

    PubMed Central

    Valera, Elvira; Masliah, Eliezer

    2013-01-01

    Immunotherapy is currently being intensively explored as much-needed disease-modifying treatment for neurodegenerative diseases. While Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has been the focus of numerous immunotherapeutic studies, less attention has been paid to Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative disorders. The reason for this difference is that the amyloid beta (Aβ) protein in AD is a secreted molecule that circulates in blood and is readably recognized by antibodies. In contrast, α-synuclein (α-syn), tau, huntingtin and other proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases have been considered to be exclusively of intracellular nature. However, the recent discovery that toxic oligomeric versions of α-syn and tau accumulate in the membrane and can be excreted to the extracellular environment has provided a rationale for the development of immunotherapeutic approaches for PD, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, and other neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the abnormal accumulation of these proteins. Active immunization, passive immunization, and T cell-mediated cellular immunotherapeutic approaches have been developed targeting Aβ, α-syn and tau. Most advanced studies, including results from phase III clinical trials for passive immunization in AD, have been recently reported. Results suggest that immunotherapy might be a promising therapeutic approach for neurodegenerative diseases that progress with the accumulation and propagation of toxic protein aggregates. In this manuscript we provide an overview on immunotherapeutic advances for neurodegenerative disorders, with special emphasis on α-synucleinopathies. PMID:23384597

  18. Auditory perspective taking.

    PubMed

    Martinson, Eric; Brock, Derek

    2013-06-01

    Effective communication with a mobile robot using speech is a difficult problem even when you can control the auditory scene. Robot self-noise or ego noise, echoes and reverberation, and human interference are all common sources of decreased intelligibility. Moreover, in real-world settings, these problems are routinely aggravated by a variety of sources of background noise. Military scenarios can be punctuated by high decibel noise from materiel and weaponry that would easily overwhelm a robot's normal speaking volume. Moreover, in nonmilitary settings, fans, computers, alarms, and transportation noise can cause enough interference to make a traditional speech interface unusable. This work presents and evaluates a prototype robotic interface that uses perspective taking to estimate the effectiveness of its own speech presentation and takes steps to improve intelligibility for human listeners. PMID:23096077

  19. Auditory short-term memory in the primate auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Scott, Brian H; Mishkin, Mortimer

    2016-06-01

    Sounds are fleeting, and assembling the sequence of inputs at the ear into a coherent percept requires auditory memory across various time scales. Auditory short-term memory comprises at least two components: an active ׳working memory' bolstered by rehearsal, and a sensory trace that may be passively retained. Working memory relies on representations recalled from long-term memory, and their rehearsal may require phonological mechanisms unique to humans. The sensory component, passive short-term memory (pSTM), is tractable to study in nonhuman primates, whose brain architecture and behavioral repertoire are comparable to our own. This review discusses recent advances in the behavioral and neurophysiological study of auditory memory with a focus on single-unit recordings from macaque monkeys performing delayed-match-to-sample (DMS) tasks. Monkeys appear to employ pSTM to solve these tasks, as evidenced by the impact of interfering stimuli on memory performance. In several regards, pSTM in monkeys resembles pitch memory in humans, and may engage similar neural mechanisms. Neural correlates of DMS performance have been observed throughout the auditory and prefrontal cortex, defining a network of areas supporting auditory STM with parallels to that supporting visual STM. These correlates include persistent neural firing, or a suppression of firing, during the delay period of the memory task, as well as suppression or (less commonly) enhancement of sensory responses when a sound is repeated as a ׳match' stimulus. Auditory STM is supported by a distributed temporo-frontal network in which sensitivity to stimulus history is an intrinsic feature of auditory processing. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. PMID:26541581

  20. PREFACE: Physics and biology of neurodegenerative diseases Physics and biology of neurodegenerative diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastore, Annalisa

    2012-06-01

    In 1939, William T Astbury, who was at the time a professor at the University of Leeds, wrote a letter to Dorothy Hodgkins, a crystallographer colleague who would eventually be awarded a Nobel Prize (1964) [1]. Astbury was working on determining the structure of silk and had found that these fibres had a so-called cross-beta arrangement, with the hydrogen bonds holding a beta-sheet structure perpendicular to the fibre axis. This structure was very robust and thus would account well for the properties of the silk fibre. Being very impressed by this structural solution at a time when protein structure was just being discovered, he wrote to Dorothy Hodgkins formulating the hypothesis that all proteins could adopt a cross-beta structure similar to that found for silk as a sort of ultimate solution. Approximately 70 years later, this prediction was reconsidered and is now generally accepted to be correct: most if not all proteins seem to be able to form fibrils, commonly named amyloids, that adopt the same structural features found in silk. The field of amyloid fibres bloomed in the mid-90s when several researchers—among them Chris Dobson, a professor first at Oxford and then at Cambridge—observed that proteins could aggregate by concomitant formation of fibrillar structures (reviewed in [2]). It was certainly not news that proteins could aggregate with an irreversible mechanism. However, what nearly came as a surprise was the realization that aggregation is often accompanied by a major structural rearrangement, which almost invariably associates with protein misfolding (i.e. loss of the native structure and adoption of a beta-rich structure) and amyloid fibre formation. Even more interesting was the growing evidence that amyloid fibres have very special mechanical properties, being extremely resilient and not easily degraded. At the same time it was noticed that different diseases, generically named amyloidoses, are associated with fibrillar aggregates. Today

  1. Redox regulation of protein misfolding, mitochondrial dysfunction, synaptic damage, and cell death in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tomohiro; Cho, Dong-Hyung; Lipton, Stuart A.

    2012-01-01

    The loss or injury of neurons associated with oxidative and nitrosative redox stress plays an important role in the onset of various neurodegenerative diseases. Specifically, nitric oxide (NO), can affect neuronal survival through a process called S-nitrosylation, by which the NO group undergoes a redox reaction with specific protein thiols. This in turn can lead to the accumulation of misfolded proteins, which generally form aggregates in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Evidence suggests that S-nitrosylation can also impair mitochondrial function and lead to excessive fission of mitochondria and consequent bioenergetic compromise via effects on the activity of the fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). This insult leads to synaptic dysfunction and loss. Additionally, high levels of NO can S-nitrosylate a number of aberrant targets involved in neuronal survival pathways, including the antiapoptotic protein XIAP, inhibiting its ability to prevent apoptosis. PMID:22771760

  2. Impairments in musical abilities reflected in the auditory brainstem: evidence from congenital amusia.

    PubMed

    Lehmann, Alexandre; Skoe, Erika; Moreau, Patricia; Peretz, Isabelle; Kraus, Nina

    2015-07-01

    Congenital amusia is a neurogenetic condition, characterized by a deficit in music perception and production, not explained by hearing loss, brain damage or lack of exposure to music. Despite inferior musical performance, amusics exhibit normal auditory cortical responses, with abnormal neural correlates suggested to lie beyond auditory cortices. Here we show, using auditory brainstem responses to complex sounds in humans, that fine-grained automatic processing of sounds is impoverished in amusia. Compared with matched non-musician controls, spectral amplitude was decreased in amusics for higher harmonic components of the auditory brainstem response. We also found a delayed response to the early transient aspects of the auditory stimulus in amusics. Neural measures of spectral amplitude and response timing correlated with participants' behavioral assessments of music processing. We demonstrate, for the first time, that amusia affects how complex acoustic signals are processed in the auditory brainstem. This neural signature of amusia mirrors what is observed in musicians, such that the aspects of the auditory brainstem responses that are enhanced in musicians are degraded in amusics. By showing that gradients of music abilities are reflected in the auditory brainstem, our findings have implications not only for current models of amusia but also for auditory functioning in general. PMID:25900043

  3. Auditory reafferences: the influence of real-time feedback on movement control

    PubMed Central

    Kennel, Christian; Streese, Lukas; Pizzera, Alexandra; Justen, Christoph; Hohmann, Tanja; Raab, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Auditory reafferences are real-time auditory products created by a person’s own movements. Whereas the interdependency of action and perception is generally well studied, the auditory feedback channel and the influence of perceptual processes during movement execution remain largely unconsidered. We argue that movements have a rhythmic character that is closely connected to sound, making it possible to manipulate auditory reafferences online to understand their role in motor control. We examined if step sounds, occurring as a by-product of running, have an influence on the performance of a complex movement task. Twenty participants completed a hurdling task in three auditory feedback conditions: a control condition with normal auditory feedback, a white noise condition in which sound was masked, and a delayed auditory feedback condition. Overall time and kinematic data were collected. Results show that delayed auditory feedback led to a significantly slower overall time and changed kinematic parameters. Our findings complement previous investigations in a natural movement situation with non-artificial auditory cues. Our results support the existing theoretical understanding of action–perception coupling and hold potential for applied work, where naturally occurring movement sounds can be implemented in the motor learning processes. PMID:25688230

  4. A hardware model of the auditory periphery to transduce acoustic signals into neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Tateno, Takashi; Nishikawa, Jun; Tsuchioka, Nobuyoshi; Shintaku, Hirofumi; Kawano, Satoyuki

    2013-01-01

    To improve the performance of cochlear implants, we have integrated a microdevice into a model of the auditory periphery with the goal of creating a microprocessor. We constructed an artificial peripheral auditory system using a hybrid model in which polyvinylidene difluoride was used as a piezoelectric sensor to convert mechanical stimuli into electric signals. To produce frequency selectivity, the slit on a stainless steel base plate was designed such that the local resonance frequency of the membrane over the slit reflected the transfer function. In the acoustic sensor, electric signals were generated based on the piezoelectric effect from local stress in the membrane. The electrodes on the resonating plate produced relatively large electric output signals. The signals were fed into a computer model that mimicked some functions of inner hair cells, inner hair cell–auditory nerve synapses, and auditory nerve fibers. In general, the responses of the model to pure-tone burst and complex stimuli accurately represented the discharge rates of high-spontaneous-rate auditory nerve fibers across a range of frequencies greater than 1 kHz and middle to high sound pressure levels. Thus, the model provides a tool to understand information processing in the peripheral auditory system and a basic design for connecting artificial acoustic sensors to the peripheral auditory nervous system. Finally, we discuss the need for stimulus control with an appropriate model of the auditory periphery based on auditory brainstem responses that were electrically evoked by different temporal pulse patterns with the same pulse number. PMID:24324432

  5. Mind the Gap: Two Dissociable Mechanisms of Temporal Processing in the Auditory System

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Lucy A.

    2016-01-01

    High temporal acuity of auditory processing underlies perception of speech and other rapidly varying sounds. A common measure of auditory temporal acuity in humans is the threshold for detection of brief gaps in noise. Gap-detection deficits, observed in developmental disorders, are considered evidence for “sluggish” auditory processing. Here we show, in a mouse model of gap-detection deficits, that auditory brain sensitivity to brief gaps in noise can be impaired even without a general loss of central auditory temporal acuity. Extracellular recordings in three different subdivisions of the auditory thalamus in anesthetized mice revealed a stimulus-specific, subdivision-specific deficit in thalamic sensitivity to brief gaps in noise in experimental animals relative to controls. Neural responses to brief gaps in noise were reduced, but responses to other rapidly changing stimuli unaffected, in lemniscal and nonlemniscal (but not polysensory) subdivisions of the medial geniculate body. Through experiments and modeling, we demonstrate that the observed deficits in thalamic sensitivity to brief gaps in noise arise from reduced neural population activity following noise offsets, but not onsets. These results reveal dissociable sound-onset-sensitive and sound-offset-sensitive channels underlying auditory temporal processing, and suggest that gap-detection deficits can arise from specific impairment of the sound-offset-sensitive channel. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The experimental and modeling results reported here suggest a new hypothesis regarding the mechanisms of temporal processing in the auditory system. Using a mouse model of auditory temporal processing deficits, we demonstrate the existence of specific abnormalities in auditory thalamic activity following sound offsets, but not sound onsets. These results reveal dissociable sound-onset-sensitive and sound-offset-sensitive mechanisms underlying auditory processing of temporally varying sounds. Furthermore, the

  6. Modulation of Auditory Responses to Speech vs. Nonspeech Stimuli during Speech Movement Planning

    PubMed Central

    Daliri, Ayoub; Max, Ludo

    2016-01-01

    Previously, we showed that the N100 amplitude in long latency auditory evoked potentials (LLAEPs) elicited by pure tone probe stimuli is modulated when the stimuli are delivered during speech movement planning as compared with no-speaking control conditions. Given that we probed the auditory system only with pure tones, it remained unknown whether the nature and magnitude of this pre-speech auditory modulation depends on the type of auditory stimulus. Thus, here, we asked whether the effect of speech movement planning on auditory processing varies depending on the type of auditory stimulus. In an experiment with nine adult subjects, we recorded LLAEPs that were elicited by either pure tones or speech syllables when these stimuli were presented prior to speech onset in a delayed-response speaking condition vs. a silent reading control condition. Results showed no statistically significant difference in pre-speech modulation of the N100 amplitude (early stages of auditory processing) for the speech stimuli as compared with the nonspeech stimuli. However, the amplitude of the P200 component (later stages of auditory processing) showed a statistically significant pre-speech modulation that was specific to the speech stimuli only. Hence, the overall results from this study indicate that, immediately prior to speech onset, modulation of the auditory system has a general effect on early processing stages but a speech-specific effect on later processing stages. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that pre-speech auditory modulation may play a role in priming the auditory system for its role in monitoring auditory feedback during speech production. PMID:27242494

  7. Auditory Processing Disorder in Children

    MedlinePlus

    ... free publications Find organizations Related Topics Auditory Neuropathy Autism Spectrum Disorder: Communication Problems in Children Dysphagia Quick ... NIH… Turning Discovery Into Health ® National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders 31 Center Drive, MSC ...

  8. Maps of the Auditory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Brewer, Alyssa A; Barton, Brian

    2016-07-01

    One of the fundamental properties of the mammalian brain is that sensory regions of cortex are formed of multiple, functionally specialized cortical field maps (CFMs). Each CFM comprises two orthogonal topographical representations, reflecting two essential aspects of sensory space. In auditory cortex, auditory field maps (AFMs) are defined by the combination of tonotopic gradients, representing the spectral aspects of sound (i.e., tones), with orthogonal periodotopic gradients, representing the temporal aspects of sound (i.e., period or temporal envelope). Converging evidence from cytoarchitectural and neuroimaging measurements underlies the definition of 11 AFMs across core and belt regions of human auditory cortex, with likely homology to those of macaque. On a macrostructural level, AFMs are grouped into cloverleaf clusters, an organizational structure also seen in visual cortex. Future research can now use these AFMs to investigate specific stages of auditory processing, key for understanding behaviors such as speech perception and multimodal sensory integration. PMID:27145914

  9. Classroom Demonstrations of Auditory Perception.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haws, LaDawn; Oppy, Brian J.

    2002-01-01

    Presents activities to help students gain understanding about auditory perception. Describes demonstrations that cover topics, such as sound localization, wave cancellation, frequency/pitch variation, and the influence of media on sound propagation. (CMK)

  10. Leiomyoma of External Auditory Canal.

    PubMed

    George, M V; Puthiyapurayil, Jamsheeda

    2016-09-01

    This article reports a case of piloleiomyoma of external auditory canal, which is the 7th case of leiomyoma of the external auditory canal being reported and the 2nd case of leiomyoma arising from arrectores pilorum muscles, all the other five cases were angioleiomyomas, arising from blood vessels. A 52 years old male presented with a mass in the right external auditory canal and decreased hearing of 6 months duration. Tumor excision done by end aural approach. Histopathological examination report was leiomyoma. It is extremely rare for leiomyoma to occur in the external auditory canal because of the non-availability of smooth muscles in the external canal. So it should be considered as a very rare differential diagnosis for any tumor or polyp in the ear canal. PMID:27508144

  11. Touch activates human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Schürmann, Martin; Caetano, Gina; Hlushchuk, Yevhen; Jousmäki, Veikko; Hari, Riitta

    2006-05-01

    Vibrotactile stimuli can facilitate hearing, both in hearing-impaired and in normally hearing people. Accordingly, the sounds of hands exploring a surface contribute to the explorer's haptic percepts. As a possible brain basis of such phenomena, functional brain imaging has identified activations specific to audiotactile interaction in secondary somatosensory cortex, auditory belt area, and posterior parietal cortex, depending on the quality and relative salience of the stimuli. We studied 13 subjects with non-invasive functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to search for auditory brain areas that would be activated by touch. Vibration bursts of 200 Hz were delivered to the subjects' fingers and palm and tactile pressure pulses to their fingertips. Noise bursts served to identify auditory cortex. Vibrotactile-auditory co-activation, addressed with minimal smoothing to obtain a conservative estimate, was found in an 85-mm3 region in the posterior auditory belt area. This co-activation could be related to facilitated hearing at the behavioral level, reflecting the analysis of sound-like temporal patterns in vibration. However, even tactile pulses (without any vibration) activated parts of the posterior auditory belt area, which therefore might subserve processing of audiotactile events that arise during dynamic contact between hands and environment. PMID:16488157

  12. Effectiveness of direct and non-direct auditory stimulation on coma arousal after traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Park, Soohyun; Davis, Alice E

    2016-08-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of direct and non-direct auditory stimulation on arousal in coma patients with severe traumatic brain injury and to compare the effects of direct vs. non-direct auditory stimulation. A crossover intervention study design was used. Nine participants who were comatose after a severe traumatic brain injury underwent direct and non-direct auditory stimulation. Direct auditory stimulation requires a higher level of interpersonal interaction between the patient and stimuli such as voices of family members, orientation by a nurse or family member and familiar music. In contrast, non-direct auditory stimuli were characterized as more general, less familiar, less interactive, indirect and not lively such as general music and TV sounds. Participants received both direct and non-direct auditory stimulation in randomized order for 15 minutes. Recovery of consciousness was measured with the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and Sensory Stimulation Assessment Measure (SSAM). The Friedman test with post hoc analysis by Wilcoxon's signed-rank test comparisons was used for data analysis. Patients who received both direct and non-direct auditory stimulation exhibited significantly increased GCS (p = 0.008) and SSAM scores (p = 0.008) over baseline. The improvement in SSAM scores after direct auditory stimulation was significantly greater than that after non-direct auditory stimulation (p = 0.021), but there was no statistically significant difference in GCS scores (p = 0.139). Auditory stimulation, in particular direct auditory stimulation, might be useful for improving the recovery of consciousness and increasing the arousal of comatose patients. The SSAM is more useful for detecting subtle changes from stimulation intervention than the GCS. PMID:27241789

  13. Auditory nerve disease and auditory neuropathy spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Kaga, Kimitaka

    2016-02-01

    In 1996, a new type of bilateral hearing disorder was discerned and published almost simultaneously by Kaga et al. [1] and Starr et al. [2]. Although the pathophysiology of this disorder as reported by each author was essentially identical, Kaga used the term "auditory nerve disease" and Starr used the term "auditory neuropathy". Auditory neuropathy (AN) in adults is an acquired disorder characterized by mild-to-moderate pure-tone hearing loss, poor speech discrimination, and absence of the auditory brainstem response (ABR) all in the presence of normal cochlear outer hair cell function as indicated by normal distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) and evoked summating potentials (SPs) by electrocochleography (ECoG). A variety of processes and etiologies are thought to be involved in its pathophysiology including mutations of the OTOF and/or OPA1 genes. Most of the subsequent reports in the literature discuss the various auditory profiles of patients with AN [3,4] and in this report we present the profiles of an additional 17 cases of adult AN. Cochlear implants are useful for the reacquisition of hearing in adult AN although hearing aids are ineffective. In 2008, the new term of Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorders (ANSD) was proposed by the Colorado Children's Hospital group following a comprehensive study of newborn hearing test results. When ABRs were absent and DPOAEs were present in particular cases during newborn screening they were classified as ANSD. In 2013, our group in the Tokyo Medical Center classified ANSD into three types by following changes in ABRs and DPOAEs over time with development. In Type I, there is normalization of hearing over time, Type II shows a change into profound hearing loss and Type III is true auditory neuropathy (AN). We emphasize that, in adults, ANSD is not the same as AN. PMID:26209259

  14. Principles of auditory information-processing derived from neuroethology.

    PubMed

    Suga, N

    1989-09-01

    For auditory imaging, a bat emits orientation sounds (pulses) and listens to echoes. The parameters characterizing a pulse-echo pair each convey particular types of biosonar information. For example, a Doppler shift (a difference in frequency between an emitted pulse and its echo) carries velocity information. For a 61-kHz sound, a 1.0-kHz Doppler shift corresponds to 2.8 ms-1 velocity. The delay of the echo from the pulse conveys distance (range) information. A 1.0-ms echo delay corresponds to a target distance of 17 cm. The auditory system of the mustached bat, Pteronotus parnelli, from Central America solves the computational problems in analyzing these parameters by creating maps in the cerebral cortex. The pulse of the mustached bat is complex. It consists of four harmonics, each of which contains a long constant-frequency (CF) component and a short frequency-modulated (FM) component. Therefore, there are eight components in the emitted pulse (CF1-4 and FM1-4). The CF signal is particularly suited for target velocity measurement, whereas the FM signal is suited for target distance measurement. Since the eight components differ from each other in frequency, they are analyzed in parallel at different regions of the basilar membrane in the inner ear. Then, they are separately coded by primary auditory neurons and are sent up to the auditory cortex through several auditory nuclei. During the ascent of the signals through these auditory nuclei, neurons responding to the FM components process range information, while other neurons responding to the CF components process velocity information. A comparison of the data obtained from the mustached bat with those obtained from other species illustrates both the specialized neural mechanisms specific to the bat's auditory system, and the general neural mechanisms which are probably shared with many different types of animals. PMID:2689566

  15. The Blood Brain Barrier in Neurodegenerative Disease: A Rhetorical Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Carvey, Paul M; Hendey, Bill; Monahan, Angela J.

    2009-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that the function of the blood brain barrier (BBB) is not static under normal physiological conditions and is likely altered in neurodegenerative disease. Prevailing thinking about CNS function, and neurodegenerative disease in particular, is neurocentric excluding the impact of factors outside of the CNS. This review challenges this perspective and discusses recent reports suggesting the involvement of peripheral factors including toxins and elements of adaptive immunity that may not only play a role in pathogenesis, but also progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Central to this view is neuroinflammation. Several studies indicate that the neuroinflammatory changes that accompany neurodegeneration affect the BBB or its function by altering transport systems, enhancing immune cell entry, or influencing the BBB’s role as a signaling interface. Such changes impair the BBB’s normal homeostatic function and affect neural activity. Moreover, recent studies reveal that alterations in BBB and its transporters affect the entry of drugs used to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Incorporating BBB compromise and dysfunction into our view of neurodegenerative disease leads to inclusion of peripheral mediators in its pathogenesis and progression. In addition, this changing view of the BBB raises interesting new therapeutic possibilities for drug delivery as well as treatment strategies designed to reinstate normal barrier function. PMID:19659460

  16. The Role of Environmental Exposures in Neurodegeneration and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Cannon, Jason R.; Greenamyre, J. Timothy

    2011-01-01

    Neurodegeneration describes the loss of neuronal structure and function. Numerous neurodegenerative diseases are associated with neurodegeneration. Many are rare and stem from purely genetic causes. However, the prevalence of major neurodegenerative diseases is increasing with improvements in treating major diseases such as cancers and cardiovascular diseases, resulting in an aging population. The neurological consequences of neurodegeneration in patients can have devastating effects on mental and physical functioning. The causes of most cases of prevalent neurodegenerative diseases are unknown. The role of neurotoxicant exposures in neurodegenerative disease has long been suspected, with much effort devoted to identifying causative agents. However, causative factors for a significant number of cases have yet to be identified. In this review, the role of environmental neurotoxicant exposures on neurodegeneration in selected major neurodegenerative diseases is discussed. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were chosen because of available data on environmental influences. The special sensitivity the nervous system exhibits to toxicant exposure and unifying mechanisms of neurodegeneration are explored. PMID:21914720

  17. Are Auditory and Visual Processing Deficits Related to Developmental Dyslexia?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Georgiou, George K.; Papadopoulos, Timothy C.; Zarouna, Elena; Parrila, Rauno

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine if children with dyslexia learning to read a consistent orthography (Greek) experience auditory and visual processing deficits and if these deficits are associated with phonological awareness, rapid naming speed and orthographic processing. We administered measures of general cognitive ability, phonological…

  18. Auditory Brainstem Responses in Young Males with Fragile X Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Joanne; Hennon, Elizabeth A.; Anderson, Kathleen; Roush, Jackson; Gravel, Judith; Skinner, Martie; Misenheimer, Jan; Reitz, Patricia

    2005-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common inherited cause of mental retardation resulting in developmental delays in males. Atypical outer ear morphology is characteristic of FXS and may serve as a marker for abnormal auditory function. Despite this abnormality, studies of the hearing of young males with FXS are generally lacking. A few studies…

  19. Teaching Vocational Skills with a Faded Auditory Prompting System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Rebecca J.; Schuster, John W.; Collins, Belva C.; Gassaway, Linda J.

    2000-01-01

    Three students (ages 14-16) with mild mental retardation were taught to use an auditory prompting system to complete the vocational tasks of cleaning a bathroom in a classroom setting. Students acquired the skills and generalized them to a novel setting. There were mixed results concerning maintenance of the skills. (Contains 10 references.)…

  20. Psychology of auditory perception.

    PubMed

    Lotto, Andrew; Holt, Lori

    2011-09-01

    Audition is often treated as a 'secondary' sensory system behind vision in the study of cognitive science. In this review, we focus on three seemingly simple perceptual tasks to demonstrate the complexity of perceptual-cognitive processing involved in everyday audition. After providing a short overview of the characteristics of sound and their neural encoding, we present a description of the perceptual task of segregating multiple sound events that are mixed together in the signal reaching the ears. Then, we discuss the ability to localize the sound source in the environment. Finally, we provide some data and theory on how listeners categorize complex sounds, such as speech. In particular, we present research on how listeners weigh multiple acoustic cues in making a categorization decision. One conclusion of this review is that it is time for auditory cognitive science to be developed to match what has been done in vision in order for us to better understand how humans communicate with speech and music. WIREs Cogni Sci 2011 2 479-489 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.123 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:26302301

  1. Association between environmental exposure to pesticides and neurodegenerative diseases

    SciTech Connect

    Parron, Tesifon; Requena, Mar; Hernandez, Antonio F.; Alarcon, Raquel

    2011-11-15

    Preliminary studies have shown associations between chronic pesticide exposure in occupational settings and neurological disorders. However, data on the effects of long-term non-occupational exposures are too sparse to allow any conclusions. This study examines the influence of environmental pesticide exposure on a number of neuropsychiatric conditions and discusses their underlying pathologic mechanisms. An ecological study was conducted using averaged prevalence rates of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral degeneration, polyneuropathies, affective psychosis and suicide attempts in selected Andalusian health districts categorized into areas of high and low environmental pesticide exposure based on the number of hectares devoted to intensive agriculture and pesticide sales per capita. A total of 17,429 cases were collected from computerized hospital records (minimum dataset) between 1998 and 2005. Prevalence rates and the risk of having Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and suicide were significantly higher in districts with greater pesticide use as compared to those with lower pesticide use. The multivariate analyses showed that the population living in areas with high pesticide use had an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease and suicide attempts and that males living in these areas had increased risks for polyneuropathies, affective disorders and suicide attempts. In conclusion, this study supports and extends previous findings and provides an indication that environmental exposure to pesticides may affect the human health by increasing the incidence of certain neurological disorders at the level of the general population. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Environmental exposure to pesticides and neurodegenerative-psychiatric disorders. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Increased risk for Alzheimer's disease and suicide attempts in high exposure areas. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Males from

  2. The Role of Cathepsin D in the Pathogenesis of Human Neurodegenerative Disorders.

    PubMed

    Vidoni, Chiara; Follo, Carlo; Savino, Miriam; Melone, Mariarosa A B; Isidoro, Ciro

    2016-09-01

    In familial neurodegenerative disorders, protein aggregates form continuously because of genetic mutations that drive the synthesis of truncated or unfolded proteins. The oxidative stress imposed by neurotransmitters and environmental neurotoxins constitutes an additional threat to the folding of the proteins and the integrity of organelle membranes in neurons. Failure in degrading such altered materials compromises the function of neurons and eventually leads to neurodegeneration. The lysosomal proteolytic enzyme Cathepsin D is the only aspartic-type protease ubiquitously expressed in all the cells of the human body, and it is expressed at high level in the brain. In general, cathepsin D mediated proteolysis is essential to neuronal cell homeostasis through the degradation of unfolded or oxidized protein aggregates delivered to lysosomes via autophagy or endocytosis. More specifically, many altered neuronal proteins that hallmark neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., the amyloid precursor, α-synuclein, and huntingtin) are physiologic substrates of cathepsin D and would abnormally accumulate if not efficiently degraded by this enzyme. Furthermore, experimental evidence indicates that cathepsin D activity is linked to the metabolism of cholesterol and of glycosaminoglycans, which accounts for its involvement in neuronal plasticity. This review focuses on the unique role of cathepsin D mediated proteolysis in the pathogenesis of human neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27114232

  3. Interactions across Multiple Stimulus Dimensions in Primary Auditory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Sloas, David C; Zhuo, Ran; Xue, Hongbo; Chambers, Anna R; Kolaczyk, Eric; Polley, Daniel B; Sen, Kamal

    2016-01-01

    Although sensory cortex is thought to be important for the perception of complex objects, its specific role in representing complex stimuli remains unknown. Complex objects are rich in information along multiple stimulus dimensions. The position of cortex in the sensory hierarchy suggests that cortical neurons may integrate across these dimensions to form a more gestalt representation of auditory objects. Yet, studies of cortical neurons typically explore single or few dimensions due to the difficulty of determining optimal stimuli in a high dimensional stimulus space. Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) provide a potentially powerful approach for exploring multidimensional stimulus spaces based on real-time spike feedback, but two important issues arise in their application. First, it is unclear whether it is necessary to characterize cortical responses to multidimensional stimuli or whether it suffices to characterize cortical responses to a single dimension at a time. Second, quantitative methods for analyzing complex multidimensional data from an EA are lacking. Here, we apply a statistical method for nonlinear regression, the generalized additive model (GAM), to address these issues. The GAM quantitatively describes the dependence between neural response and all stimulus dimensions. We find that auditory cortical neurons in mice are sensitive to interactions across dimensions. These interactions are diverse across the population, indicating significant integration across stimulus dimensions in auditory cortex. This result strongly motivates using multidimensional stimuli in auditory cortex. Together, the EA and the GAM provide a novel quantitative paradigm for investigating neural coding of complex multidimensional stimuli in auditory and other sensory cortices. PMID:27622211

  4. Auditory hallucinations: A review of the ERC "VOICE" project.

    PubMed

    Hugdahl, Kenneth

    2015-06-22

    In this invited review I provide a selective overview of recent research on brain mechanisms and cognitive processes involved in auditory hallucinations. The review is focused on research carried out in the "VOICE" ERC Advanced Grant Project, funded by the European Research Council, but I also review and discuss the literature in general. Auditory hallucinations are suggested to be perceptual phenomena, with a neuronal origin in the speech perception areas in the temporal lobe. The phenomenology of auditory hallucinations is conceptualized along three domains, or dimensions; a perceptual dimension, experienced as someone speaking to the patient; a cognitive dimension, experienced as an inability to inhibit, or ignore the voices, and an emotional dimension, experienced as the "voices" having primarily a negative, or sinister, emotional tone. I will review cognitive, imaging, and neurochemistry data related to these dimensions, primarily the first two. The reviewed data are summarized in a model that sees auditory hallucinations as initiated from temporal lobe neuronal hyper-activation that draws attentional focus inward, and which is not inhibited due to frontal lobe hypo-activation. It is further suggested that this is maintained through abnormal glutamate and possibly gamma-amino-butyric-acid transmitter mediation, which could point towards new pathways for pharmacological treatment. A final section discusses new methods of acquiring quantitative data on the phenomenology and subjective experience of auditory hallucination that goes beyond standard interview questionnaires, by suggesting an iPhone/iPod app. PMID:26110121

  5. Interactions across Multiple Stimulus Dimensions in Primary Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Zhuo, Ran; Xue, Hongbo; Chambers, Anna R.; Kolaczyk, Eric; Polley, Daniel B.

    2016-01-01

    Although sensory cortex is thought to be important for the perception of complex objects, its specific role in representing complex stimuli remains unknown. Complex objects are rich in information along multiple stimulus dimensions. The position of cortex in the sensory hierarchy suggests that cortical neurons may integrate across these dimensions to form a more gestalt representation of auditory objects. Yet, studies of cortical neurons typically explore single or few dimensions due to the difficulty of determining optimal stimuli in a high dimensional stimulus space. Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) provide a potentially powerful approach for exploring multidimensional stimulus spaces based on real-time spike feedback, but two important issues arise in their application. First, it is unclear whether it is necessary to characterize cortical responses to multidimensional stimuli or whether it suffices to characterize cortical responses to a single dimension at a time. Second, quantitative methods for analyzing complex multidimensional data from an EA are lacking. Here, we apply a statistical method for nonlinear regression, the generalized additive model (GAM), to address these issues. The GAM quantitatively describes the dependence between neural response and all stimulus dimensions. We find that auditory cortical neurons in mice are sensitive to interactions across dimensions. These interactions are diverse across the population, indicating significant integration across stimulus dimensions in auditory cortex. This result strongly motivates using multidimensional stimuli in auditory cortex. Together, the EA and the GAM provide a novel quantitative paradigm for investigating neural coding of complex multidimensional stimuli in auditory and other sensory cortices. PMID:27622211

  6. Redox Imbalance and Viral Infections in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Limongi, Dolores; Baldelli, Sara

    2016-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential molecules for many physiological functions and act as second messengers in a large variety of tissues. An imbalance in the production and elimination of ROS is associated with human diseases including neurodegenerative disorders. In the last years the notion that neurodegenerative diseases are accompanied by chronic viral infections, which may result in an increase of neurodegenerative diseases progression, emerged. It is known in literature that enhanced viral infection risk, observed during neurodegeneration, is partly due to the increase of ROS accumulation in brain cells. However, the molecular mechanisms of viral infection, occurring during the progression of neurodegeneration, remain unclear. In this review, we discuss the recent knowledge regarding the role of influenza, herpes simplex virus type-1, and retroviruses infection in ROS/RNS-mediated Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). PMID:27110325

  7. Melatonin for Sleep Disorders in Patients with Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Trotti, Lynn Marie; Karroum, Elias G

    2016-07-01

    In patients with neurodegenerative diseases, sleep disorders are common; they impair the quality of life for patients and caregivers and are associated with poorer clinical outcomes. Melatonin has circadian, hypnotic, and free radical-scavenging effects, and preclinical data suggest benefits of melatonin on neurodegeneration. However, randomized, controlled trials of melatonin in patients with neurodegenerative diseases have not shown strong effects. Trials in Alzheimer's patients demonstrate a lack of benefit on sleep quantity. Subjective measures of sleep quality are mixed, with possible symptomatic improvements seen only on some measures or at some time points. Benefits on cognition have not been observed across several studies. In Parkinson's patients, there may be minimal benefit on objective sleep measures, but a suggestion of subjective benefit in few, small studies. Effective treatments for the sleep disorders associated with neurodegenerative diseases are urgently needed, but current data are insufficient to establish melatonin as such a treatment. PMID:27180068

  8. Clinico-Pathological Correlations of the Most Common Neurodegenerative Dementias

    PubMed Central

    Taipa, Ricardo; Pinho, João; Melo-Pires, Manuel

    2012-01-01

    Neurodegenerative dementias are a group of neurological disorders characterized by deterioration in several cognitive domains in which there is selective and progressive loss of specific populations of neurons. The precise neurobiological basis for the different neurodegenerative dementias remains unknown. It is expected that different pathologies reflect different mechanisms, at least early in the neurodegeneration process. The next decades promise treatments directed to causes and mechanisms, bringing an outstanding challenge to clinicians due to heterogeneous clinical presentations with the same molecular pathology. The purpose of this brief review is to describe the key neuropathological features of the most common neurodegenerative dementias (Alzheimer disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia, and frontotemporal lobar degeneration) and the relationship with the clinical syndromes described in clinico-pathological studies. We expect this overview contributes for the understanding of this broad topic integrating the two ends of the spectrum: clinical and pathological. PMID:22557993

  9. Evaluation of Traditional Medicines for Neurodegenerative Diseases Using Drosophila Models

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Soojin; Bang, Se Min; Lee, Joon Woo; Cho, Kyoung Sang

    2014-01-01

    Drosophila is one of the oldest and most powerful genetic models and has led to novel insights into a variety of biological processes. Recently, Drosophila has emerged as a model system to study human diseases, including several important neurodegenerative diseases. Because of the genomic similarity between Drosophila and humans, Drosophila neurodegenerative disease models exhibit a variety of human-disease-like phenotypes, facilitating fast and cost-effective in vivo genetic modifier screening and drug evaluation. Using these models, many disease-associated genetic factors have been identified, leading to the identification of compelling drug candidates. Recently, the safety and efficacy of traditional medicines for human diseases have been evaluated in various animal disease models. Despite the advantages of the Drosophila model, its usage in the evaluation of traditional medicines is only nascent. Here, we introduce the Drosophila model for neurodegenerative diseases and some examples demonstrating the successful application of Drosophila models in the evaluation of traditional medicines. PMID:24790636

  10. Redox Imbalance and Viral Infections in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Limongi, Dolores

    2016-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential molecules for many physiological functions and act as second messengers in a large variety of tissues. An imbalance in the production and elimination of ROS is associated with human diseases including neurodegenerative disorders. In the last years the notion that neurodegenerative diseases are accompanied by chronic viral infections, which may result in an increase of neurodegenerative diseases progression, emerged. It is known in literature that enhanced viral infection risk, observed during neurodegeneration, is partly due to the increase of ROS accumulation in brain cells. However, the molecular mechanisms of viral infection, occurring during the progression of neurodegeneration, remain unclear. In this review, we discuss the recent knowledge regarding the role of influenza, herpes simplex virus type-1, and retroviruses infection in ROS/RNS-mediated Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). PMID:27110325

  11. Oligodendroglia and Myelin in Neurodegenerative Diseases: More Than Just Bystanders?

    PubMed

    Ettle, Benjamin; Schlachetzki, Johannes C M; Winkler, Jürgen

    2016-07-01

    Oligodendrocytes, the myelinating cells of the central nervous system, mediate rapid action potential conduction and provide trophic support for axonal as well as neuronal maintenance. Their progenitor cell population is widely distributed in the adult brain and represents a permanent cellular reservoir for oligodendrocyte replacement and myelin plasticity. The recognition of oligodendrocytes, their progeny, and myelin as contributing factors for the pathogenesis and the progression of neurodegenerative disease has recently evolved shaping our understanding of these disorders. In the present review, we aim to highlight studies on oligodendrocytes and their progenitors in neurodegenerative diseases. We dissect oligodendroglial biology and illustrate evolutionary aspects in regard to their importance for neuronal functionality and maintenance of neuronal circuitries. After covering recent studies on oligodendroglia in different neurodegenerative diseases mainly in view of their function as myelinating cells, we focus on the alpha-synucleinopathy multiple system atrophy, a prototypical disorder with a well-defined oligodendroglial pathology. PMID:25966971

  12. Traumatic brain injury: a risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Rajaneesh; Sen, Nilkantha

    2016-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI), a major global health and socioeconomic problem, is now established as a chronic disease process with a broad spectrum of pathophysiological symptoms followed by long-term disabilities. It triggers multiple and multidirectional biochemical events that lead to neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment. Recent studies have presented strong evidence that patients with TBI history have a tendency to develop proteinopathy, which is the pathophysiological feature of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease (AD), chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This review mainly focuses on mechanisms related to AD, CTE, and ALS that are induced after TBI and their relevance to the advancement of these neurodegenerative diseases. This review encompasses acute effects and chronic neurodegenerative consequences after TBI for a better understanding of TBI-induced neuronal death and to design therapies that will effectively treat patients in the primary or secondary progressive stages. PMID:26352199

  13. RNA processing-associated molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Tang, Anna Y

    2016-08-01

    Dysfunctions of RNA processing and mutations of RNA binding proteins (RBPs) play a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases. To elucidate the function of RNA processing and RBPs mutations in neuronal cells and to increase our understanding on the pathogenic mechanisms of neurodegeneration, I have reviewed recent advances on RNA processing-associated molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, including RBPs-mediated dysfunction of RNA processing, dysfunctional microRNA (miRNA)-based regulation of gene expression, and oxidative RNA modification. I have focused on neurodegeneration induced by RBPs mutations, by dysfunction of miRNA regulation, and by the oxidized RNAs within neurons, and discuss how these dysfunctions have pathologically contributed to neurodegenerative diseases. The advances overviewed above will be valuable to basic investigation and clinical application of target diagnostic tests and therapies. PMID:26634851

  14. Histone deacetylase inhibitors: possible implications for neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Hahnen, Eric; Hauke, Jan; Tränkle, Christian; Eyüpoglu, Ilker Y; Wirth, Brunhilde; Blümcke, Ingmar

    2008-02-01

    During the past six years numerous studies identified histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors as candidate drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. Two major neuroprotective mechanisms of HDAC inhibitors have been identified, namely the transcriptional activation of disease-modifying genes and the correction of perturbations in histone acetylation homeostasis, which have been shown to be intimately involved in the neurodegenerative pathomechanisms of Huntington's, Parkinson's and Kennedy disease, amyotropic lateral sclerosis, Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome as well as stroke. Based on the promising in vitro and in vivo analyses, clinical trials have been initiated to evaluate the safety and efficacy of HDAC inhibitors for the treatment of devastating diseases such as Huntington's disease, amyotropic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy. Here, the authors summarize and discuss the findings on the emerging field of epigenetic therapy strategies in neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:18230051

  15. Bioinformatics Mining and Modeling Methods for the Identification of Disease Mechanisms in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Hofmann-Apitius, Martin; Ball, Gordon; Gebel, Stephan; Bagewadi, Shweta; de Bono, Bernard; Schneider, Reinhard; Page, Matt; Kodamullil, Alpha Tom; Younesi, Erfan; Ebeling, Christian; Tegnér, Jesper; Canard, Luc

    2015-01-01

    Since the decoding of the Human Genome, techniques from bioinformatics, statistics, and machine learning have been instrumental in uncovering patterns in increasing amounts and types of different data produced by technical profiling technologies applied to clinical samples, animal models, and cellular systems. Yet, progress on unravelling biological mechanisms, causally driving diseases, has been limited, in part due to the inherent complexity of biological systems. Whereas we have witnessed progress in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, the area of neurodegenerative diseases has proved to be very challenging. This is in part because the aetiology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer´s disease or Parkinson´s disease is unknown, rendering it very difficult to discern early causal events. Here we describe a panel of bioinformatics and modeling approaches that have recently been developed to identify candidate mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases based on publicly available data and knowledge. We identify two complementary strategies—data mining techniques using genetic data as a starting point to be further enriched using other data-types, or alternatively to encode prior knowledge about disease mechanisms in a model based framework supporting reasoning and enrichment analysis. Our review illustrates the challenges entailed in integrating heterogeneous, multiscale and multimodal information in the area of neurology in general and neurodegeneration in particular. We conclude, that progress would be accelerated by increasing efforts on performing systematic collection of multiple data-types over time from each individual suffering from neurodegenerative disease. The work presented here has been driven by project AETIONOMY; a project funded in the course of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI); which is a public-private partnership of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA) and the European

  16. Bioinformatics Mining and Modeling Methods for the Identification of Disease Mechanisms in Neurodegenerative Disorders.

    PubMed

    Hofmann-Apitius, Martin; Ball, Gordon; Gebel, Stephan; Bagewadi, Shweta; de Bono, Bernard; Schneider, Reinhard; Page, Matt; Kodamullil, Alpha Tom; Younesi, Erfan; Ebeling, Christian; Tegnér, Jesper; Canard, Luc

    2015-01-01

    Since the decoding of the Human Genome, techniques from bioinformatics, statistics, and machine learning have been instrumental in uncovering patterns in increasing amounts and types of different data produced by technical profiling technologies applied to clinical samples, animal models, and cellular systems. Yet, progress on unravelling biological mechanisms, causally driving diseases, has been limited, in part due to the inherent complexity of biological systems. Whereas we have witnessed progress in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, the area of neurodegenerative diseases has proved to be very challenging. This is in part because the aetiology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer´s disease or Parkinson´s disease is unknown, rendering it very difficult to discern early causal events. Here we describe a panel of bioinformatics and modeling approaches that have recently been developed to identify candidate mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases based on publicly available data and knowledge. We identify two complementary strategies-data mining techniques using genetic data as a starting point to be further enriched using other data-types, or alternatively to encode prior knowledge about disease mechanisms in a model based framework supporting reasoning and enrichment analysis. Our review illustrates the challenges entailed in integrating heterogeneous, multiscale and multimodal information in the area of neurology in general and neurodegeneration in particular. We conclude, that progress would be accelerated by increasing efforts on performing systematic collection of multiple data-types over time from each individual suffering from neurodegenerative disease. The work presented here has been driven by project AETIONOMY; a project funded in the course of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI); which is a public-private partnership of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA) and the European

  17. Global warming and neurodegenerative disorders: speculations on their linkage

    PubMed Central

    Habibi, Laleh; Perry, George; Mahmoudi, Morteza

    2014-01-01

    Climate change is having considerable impact on biological systems. Eras of ice ages and warming shaped the contemporary earth and origin of creatures including humans. Warming forces stress conditions on cells. Therefore, cells evolved elaborate defense mechanisms, such as creation of heat shock proteins, to combat heat stress. Global warming is becoming a crisis and this process would yield an undefined increasing rate of neurodegenerative disorders in future decades. Since heat stress is known to have a degenerative effects on neurons and, conversely, cold conditions have protective effect on these cells, we hypothesize that persistent heat stress forced by global warming might play a crucial role in increasing neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:25671171

  18. Neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Subash, Selvaraju; Essa, Musthafa Mohamed; Al-Adawi, Samir; Memon, Mushtaq A.; Manivasagam, Thamilarasan; Akbar, Mohammed

    2014-01-01

    Recent clinical research has demonstrated that berry fruits can prevent age-related neurodegenerative diseases and improve motor and cognitive functions. The berry fruits are also capable of modulating signaling pathways involved in inflammation, cell survival, neurotransmission and enhancing neuroplasticity. The neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases are related to phytochemicals such as anthocyanin, caffeic acid, catechin, quercetin, kaempferol and tannin. In this review, we made an attempt to clearly describe the beneficial effects of various types of berries as promising neuroprotective agents. PMID:25317174

  19. Auditory and non-auditory effects of noise on health.

    PubMed

    Basner, Mathias; Babisch, Wolfgang; Davis, Adrian; Brink, Mark; Clark, Charlotte; Janssen, Sabine; Stansfeld, Stephen

    2014-04-12

    Noise is pervasive in everyday life and can cause both auditory and non-auditory health effects. Noise-induced hearing loss remains highly prevalent in occupational settings, and is increasingly caused by social noise exposure (eg, through personal music players). Our understanding of molecular mechanisms involved in noise-induced hair-cell and nerve damage has substantially increased, and preventive and therapeutic drugs will probably become available within 10 years. Evidence of the non-auditory effects of environmental noise exposure on public health is growing. Observational and experimental studies have shown that noise exposure leads to annoyance, disturbs sleep and causes daytime sleepiness, affects patient outcomes and staff performance in hospitals, increases the occurrence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, and impairs cognitive performance in schoolchildren. In this Review, we stress the importance of adequate noise prevention and mitigation strategies for public health. PMID:24183105

  20. Auditory and non-auditory effects of noise on health

    PubMed Central

    Basner, Mathias; Babisch, Wolfgang; Davis, Adrian; Brink, Mark; Clark, Charlotte; Janssen, Sabine; Stansfeld, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Noise is pervasive in everyday life and can cause both auditory and non-auditory health effects. Noise-induced hearing loss remains highly prevalent in occupational settings, and is increasingly caused by social noise exposure (eg, through personal music players). Our understanding of molecular mechanisms involved in noise-induced hair-cell and nerve damage has substantially increased, and preventive and therapeutic drugs will probably become available within 10 years. Evidence of the non-auditory effects of environmental noise exposure on public health is growing. Observational and experimental studies have shown that noise exposure leads to annoyance, disturbs sleep and causes daytime sleepiness, affects patient outcomes and staff performance in hospitals, increases the occurrence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, and impairs cognitive performance in schoolchildren. In this Review, we stress the importance of adequate noise prevention and mitigation strategies for public health. PMID:24183105

  1. Modulation of Auditory Spatial Attention by Angry Prosody: An fMRI Auditory Dot-Probe Study.

    PubMed

    Ceravolo, Leonardo; Frühholz, Sascha; Grandjean, Didier

    2016-01-01

    Emotional stimuli have been shown to modulate attentional orienting through signals sent by subcortical brain regions that modulate visual perception at early stages of processing. Fewer studies, however, have investigated a similar effect of emotional stimuli on attentional orienting in the auditory domain together with an investigation of brain regions underlying such attentional modulation, which is the general aim of the present study. Therefore, we used an original auditory dot-probe paradigm involving simultaneously presented neutral and angry non-speech vocal utterances lateralized to either the left or the right auditory space, immediately followed by a short and lateralized single sine wave tone presented in the same (valid trial) or in the opposite space as the preceding angry voice (invalid trial). Behavioral results showed an expected facilitation effect for target detection during valid trials while functional data showed greater activation in the middle and posterior superior temporal sulci (STS) and in the medial frontal cortex for valid vs. invalid trials. The use of reaction time facilitation [absolute value of the Z-score of valid-(invalid+neutral)] as a group covariate extended enhanced activity in the amygdalae, auditory thalamus, and visual cortex. Taken together, our results suggest the involvement of a large and distributed network of regions among which the STS, thalamus, and amygdala are crucial for the decoding of angry prosody, as well as for orienting and maintaining attention within an auditory space that was previously primed by a vocal emotional event. PMID:27242420

  2. Modulation of Auditory Spatial Attention by Angry Prosody: An fMRI Auditory Dot-Probe Study

    PubMed Central

    Ceravolo, Leonardo; Frühholz, Sascha; Grandjean, Didier

    2016-01-01

    Emotional stimuli have been shown to modulate attentional orienting through signals sent by subcortical brain regions that modulate visual perception at early stages of processing. Fewer studies, however, have investigated a similar effect of emotional stimuli on attentional orienting in the auditory domain together with an investigation of brain regions underlying such attentional modulation, which is the general aim of the present study. Therefore, we used an original auditory dot-probe paradigm involving simultaneously presented neutral and angry non-speech vocal utterances lateralized to either the left or the right auditory space, immediately followed by a short and lateralized single sine wave tone presented in the same (valid trial) or in the opposite space as the preceding angry voice (invalid trial). Behavioral results showed an expected facilitation effect for target detection during valid trials while functional data showed greater activation in the middle and posterior superior temporal sulci (STS) and in the medial frontal cortex for valid vs. invalid trials. The use of reaction time facilitation [absolute value of the Z-score of valid-(invalid+neutral)] as a group covariate extended enhanced activity in the amygdalae, auditory thalamus, and visual cortex. Taken together, our results suggest the involvement of a large and distributed network of regions among which the STS, thalamus, and amygdala are crucial for the decoding of angry prosody, as well as for orienting and maintaining attention within an auditory space that was previously primed by a vocal emotional event. PMID:27242420

  3. Current understanding of auditory neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Boo, Nem-Yun

    2008-12-01

    Auditory neuropathy is defined by the presence of normal evoked otoacoustic emissions (OAE) and absent or abnormal auditory brainstem responses (ABR). The sites of lesion could be at the cochlear inner hair cells, spiral ganglion cells of the cochlea, synapse between the inner hair cells and auditory nerve, or the auditory nerve itself. Genetic, infectious or neonatal/perinatal insults are the 3 most commonly identified underlying causes. Children usually present with delay in speech and language development while adult patients present with hearing loss and disproportionately poor speech discrimination for the degree of hearing loss. Although cochlear implant is the treatment of choice, current evidence show that it benefits only those patients with endocochlear lesions, but not those with cochlear nerve deficiency or central nervous system disorders. As auditory neuropathy is a disorder with potential long-term impact on a child's development, early hearing screen using both OAE and ABR should be carried out on all newborns and infants to allow early detection and intervention. PMID:19904452

  4. Functional specializations of primary auditory afferents on the Mauthner cells: interactions between membrane and synaptic properties.

    PubMed

    Curti, Sebastian; Pereda, Alberto E

    2010-01-01

    Primary auditory afferents are usually perceived as passive, timing-preserving, lines of communication. Contrasting this view, a special class of auditory afferents to teleost Mauthner cells, a command neuron that organizes tail-flip escape responses, undergoes potentiation of their mixed (electrical and chemical) synapses in response to high frequency cellular activity. This property is likely to represent a mechanism of input sensitization as these neurons provide the Mauthner cell with essential information for the initiation of an escape response. We review here the anatomical and physiological specializations of these identifiable auditory afferents. In particular, we discuss how their membrane and synaptic properties act in concert to more efficaciously activate the Mauthner cells. The striking functional specializations of these neurons suggest that primary auditory afferents might be capable of more sophisticated contributions to auditory processing than has been generally recognized. PMID:19941953

  5. Auditory brainstem responses in the Eastern Screech Owl: An estimate of auditory thresholds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brittan-Powell, Elizabeth F.; Lohr, Bernard; Hahn, D. Caldwell; Dooling, Robert J.

    2005-07-01

    The auditory brainstem response (ABR), a measure of neural synchrony, was used to estimate auditory sensitivity in the eastern screech owl (Megascops asio). The typical screech owl ABR waveform showed two to three prominent peaks occurring within 5 ms of stimulus onset. As sound pressure levels increased, the ABR peak amplitude increased and latency decreased. With an increasing stimulus presentation rate, ABR peak amplitude decreased and latency increased. Generally, changes in the ABR waveform to stimulus intensity and repetition rate are consistent with the pattern found in several avian families. The ABR audiogram shows that screech owls hear best between 1.5 and 6.4 kHz with the most acute sensitivity between 4-5.7 kHz. The shape of the average screech owl ABR audiogram is similar to the shape of the behaviorally measured audiogram of the barn owl, except at the highest frequencies. Our data also show differences in overall auditory sensitivity between the color morphs of screech owls.

  6. Auditory brainstem responses in the Eastern Screech Owl: An estimate of auditory thresholds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brittan-Powell, E.F.; Lohr, B.; Hahn, D.C.; Dooling, R.J.

    2005-01-01

    The auditory brainstem response (ABR), a measure of neural synchrony, was used to estimate auditory sensitivity in the eastern screech owl (Megascops asio). The typical screech owl ABR waveform showed two to three prominent peaks occurring within 5 ms of stimulus onset. As sound pressure levels increased, the ABR peak amplitude increased and latency decreased. With an increasing stimulus presentation rate, ABR peak amplitude decreased and latency increased. Generally, changes in the ABR waveform to stimulus intensity and repetition rate are consistent with the pattern found in several avian families. The ABR audiogram shows that screech owls hear best between 1.5 and 6.4 kHz with the most acute sensitivity between 4?5.7 kHz. The shape of the average screech owl ABR audiogram is similar to the shape of the behaviorally measured audiogram of the barn owl, except at the highest frequencies. Our data also show differences in overall auditory sensitivity between the color morphs of screech owls.

  7. Context effects on auditory distraction

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Sufen; Sussman, Elyse S.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to test the hypothesis that sound context modulates the magnitude of auditory distraction, indexed by behavioral and electrophysiological measures. Participants were asked to identify tone duration, while irrelevant changes occurred in tone frequency, tone intensity, and harmonic structure. Frequency deviants were randomly intermixed with standards (Uni-Condition), with intensity deviants (Bi-Condition), and with both intensity and complex deviants (Tri-Condition). Only in the Tri-Condition did the auditory distraction effect reflect the magnitude difference among the frequency and intensity deviants. The mixture of the different types of deviants in the Tri-Condition modulated the perceived level of distraction, demonstrating that the sound context can modulate the effect of deviance level on processing irrelevant acoustic changes in the environment. These findings thus indicate that perceptual contrast plays a role in change detection processes that leads to auditory distraction. PMID:23886958

  8. Minimal effects of visual memory training on auditory performance of adult cochlear implant users.

    PubMed

    Oba, Sandra I; Galvin, John J; Fu, Qian-Jie

    2013-01-01

    Auditory training has been shown to significantly improve cochlear implant (CI) users' speech and music perception. However, it is unclear whether posttraining gains in performance were due to improved auditory perception or to generally improved attention, memory, and/or cognitive processing. In this study, speech and music perception, as well as auditory and visual memory, were assessed in 10 CI users before, during, and after training with a nonauditory task. A visual digit span (VDS) task was used for training, in which subjects recalled sequences of digits presented visually. After the VDS training, VDS performance significantly improved. However, there were no significant improvements for most auditory outcome measures (auditory digit span, phoneme recognition, sentence recognition in noise, digit recognition in noise), except for small (but significant) improvements in vocal emotion recognition and melodic contour identification. Posttraining gains were much smaller with the nonauditory VDS training than observed in previous auditory training studies with CI users. The results suggest that posttraining gains observed in previous studies were not solely attributable to improved attention or memory and were more likely due to improved auditory perception. The results also suggest that CI users may require targeted auditory training to improve speech and music perception. PMID:23516087

  9. Seeing sounds and hearing colors: an event-related potential study of auditory-visual synesthesia.

    PubMed

    Goller, Aviva I; Otten, Leun J; Ward, Jamie

    2009-10-01

    In auditory-visual synesthesia, sounds automatically elicit conscious and reliable visual experiences. It is presently unknown whether this reflects early or late processes in the brain. It is also unknown whether adult audiovisual synesthesia resembles auditory-induced visual illusions that can sometimes occur in the general population or whether it resembles the electrophysiological deflection over occipital sites that has been noted in infancy and has been likened to synesthesia. Electrical brain activity was recorded from adult synesthetes and control participants who were played brief tones and required to monitor for an infrequent auditory target. The synesthetes were instructed to attend either to the auditory or to the visual (i.e., synesthetic) dimension of the tone, whereas the controls attended to the auditory dimension alone. There were clear differences between synesthetes and controls that emerged early (100 msec after tone onset). These differences tended to lie in deflections of the auditory-evoked potential (e.g., the auditory N1, P2, and N2) rather than the presence of an additional posterior deflection. The differences occurred irrespective of what the synesthetes attended to (although attention had a late effect). The results suggest that differences between synesthetes and others occur early in time, and that synesthesia is qualitatively different from similar effects found in infants and certain auditory-induced visual illusions in adults. In addition, we report two novel cases of synesthesia in which colors elicit sounds, and vice versa. PMID:18823243

  10. Integration of auditory and vibrotactile stimuli: Effects of phase and stimulus-onset asynchrony

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, E. Courtenay; Reed, Charlotte M.; Braida, Louis D.

    2009-01-01

    The perceptual integration of 250 Hz, 500 ms vibrotactile and auditory tones was studied in detection experiments as a function of (1) relative phase and (2) temporal asynchrony of the tone pulses. Vibrotactile stimuli were delivered through a single-channel vibrator to the left middle fingertip and auditory stimuli were presented diotically through headphones in a background of 50 dB sound pressure level broadband noise. The vibrotactile and auditory stimulus levels used each yielded 63%–77%-correct unimodal detection performance in a 2-I, 2-AFC task. Results for combined vibrotactile and auditory detection indicated that (1) performance improved for synchronous presentation, (2) performance was not affected by the relative phase of the auditory and tactile sinusoidal stimuli, and (3) performance for non-overlapping stimuli improved only if the tactile stimulus preceded the auditory. The results are generally more consistent with a “Pythagorean Sum” model than with either an “Algebraic Sum” or an “Optimal Single-Channel” Model of perceptual integration. Thus, certain combinations of auditory and tactile signals result in significant integrative effects. The lack of phase effect suggests an envelope rather than fine-structure operation for integration. The effects of asynchronous presentation of the auditory and tactile stimuli are consistent with time constants deduced from single-modality masking experiments. PMID:19813808

  11. Auditory presentation and synchronization in Adobe Flash and HTML5/JavaScript Web experiments.

    PubMed

    Reimers, Stian; Stewart, Neil

    2016-09-01

    Substantial recent research has examined the accuracy of presentation durations and response time measurements for visually presented stimuli in Web-based experiments, with a general conclusion that accuracy is acceptable for most kinds of experiments. However, many areas of behavioral research use auditory stimuli instead of, or in addition to, visual stimuli. Much less is known about auditory accuracy using standard Web-based testing procedures. We used a millisecond-accurate Black Box Toolkit to measure the actual durations of auditory stimuli and the synchronization of auditory and visual presentation onsets. We examined the distribution of timings for 100 presentations of auditory and visual stimuli across two computers with difference specs, three commonly used browsers, and code written in either Adobe Flash or JavaScript. We also examined different coding options for attempting to synchronize the auditory and visual onsets. Overall, we found that auditory durations were very consistent, but that the lags between visual and auditory onsets varied substantially across browsers and computer systems. PMID:27421976

  12. Age equivalence in auditory distraction by changing and deviant speech sounds.

    PubMed

    Röer, Jan P; Bell, Raoul; Marsh, John E; Buchner, Axel

    2015-12-01

    The present study was designed to examine age-related differences in the disruption of short-term memory by changing and deviant speech sounds. In total, 128 old and 130 young adults performed a serial recall task while ignoring (a) steady-state sequences in which the same distractor word was repeated 12 times, (b) auditory deviant sequences in which the ninth distractor word deviated from the otherwise repetitive context, and (c) changing state sequences in which 12 different distractor words were presented. According to inhibitory deficit theory, older adults should generally be more susceptible to auditory distraction. The duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction is based on the idea that the changing state effect and the auditory deviant effect are functionally different. It suggests that older adults should be more impaired by auditory deviants than younger adults but equally able to ignore changing state sequences. The age-invariant distractibility account predicts no age differences in auditory distraction, which was confirmed by the present results. Old adults performed worse than young adults in the serial recall task. In both age groups, however, the changing state effect (i.e., increased disruption by changing state sequences relative to steady-state sequences) and the auditory deviant effect (i.e., increased disruption by auditory deviant sequences relative to steady-state sequences) were equivalent. These effects were also unrelated to individual differences in working memory capacity. PMID:26523691

  13. Encoding frequency contrast in primate auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Brian H.; Semple, Malcolm N.

    2014-01-01

    Changes in amplitude and frequency jointly determine much of the communicative significance of complex acoustic signals, including human speech. We have previously described responses of neurons in the core auditory cortex of awake rhesus macaques to sinusoidal amplitude modulation (SAM) signals. Here we report a complementary study of sinusoidal frequency modulation (SFM) in the same neurons. Responses to SFM were analogous to SAM responses in that changes in multiple parameters defining SFM stimuli (e.g., modulation frequency, modulation depth, carrier frequency) were robustly encoded in the temporal dynamics of the spike trains. For example, changes in the carrier frequency produced highly reproducible changes in shapes of the modulation period histogram, consistent with the notion that the instantaneous probability of discharge mirrors the moment-by-moment spectrum at low modulation rates. The upper limit for phase locking was similar across SAM and SFM within neurons, suggesting shared biophysical constraints on temporal processing. Using spike train classification methods, we found that neural thresholds for modulation depth discrimination are typically far lower than would be predicted from frequency tuning to static tones. This “dynamic hyperacuity” suggests a substantial central enhancement of the neural representation of frequency changes relative to the auditory periphery. Spike timing information was superior to average rate information when discriminating among SFM signals, and even when discriminating among static tones varying in frequency. This finding held even when differences in total spike count across stimuli were normalized, indicating both the primacy and generality of temporal response dynamics in cortical auditory processing. PMID:24598525

  14. Environmental-induced oxidative stress in neurodegenerative disorders and aging.

    PubMed

    Migliore, Lucia; Coppedè, Fabio

    2009-03-31

    The aetiology of most neurodegenerative disorders is multifactorial and consists of an interaction between environmental factors and genetic predisposition. Free radicals derived primarily from molecular oxygen have been implicated and considered as associated risk factors for a variety of human disorders including neurodegenerative diseases and aging. Damage to tissue biomolecules, including lipids, proteins and DNA, by free radicals is postulated to contribute importantly to the pathophysiology of oxidative stress. The potential of environmental exposure to metals, air pollution and pesticides as well as diet as risk factors via the induction of oxidative stress for neurodegenerative diseases and aging is discussed. The role of genetic background is discussed on the light of the oxidative stress implication, focusing on both complex neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and monogenic neurological disorders (Huntington's disease, Ataxia telangiectasia, Friedreich Ataxia and others). Emphasis is given to role of the repair mechanisms of oxidative DNA damage in delaying aging and protecting against neurodegeneration. The emerging interplay between environmental-induced oxidative stress and epigenetic modifications of critical genes for neurodegeneration is also discussed. PMID:18952194

  15. Chronic sleep disturbance and neural injury: links to neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Abbott, Sabra M; Videnovic, Aleksandar

    2016-01-01

    Sleep–wake disruption is frequently observed and often one of the earliest reported symptoms of many neurodegenerative disorders. This provides insight into the underlying pathophysiology of these disorders, as sleep–wake abnormalities are often accompanied by neurodegenerative or neurotransmitter changes. However, in addition to being a symptom of the underlying neurodegenerative condition, there is also emerging evidence that sleep disturbance itself may contribute to the development and facilitate the progression of several of these disorders. Due to its impact both as an early symptom and as a potential factor contributing to ongoing neurodegeneration, the sleep–wake cycle is an ideal target for further study for potential interventions not only to lessen the burden of these diseases but also to slow their progression. In this review, we will highlight the sleep phenotypes associated with some of the major neurodegenerative disorders, focusing on the circadian disruption associated with Alzheimer’s disease, the rapid eye movement behavior disorder and sleep fragmentation associated with Parkinson’s disease, and the insomnia and circadian dysregulation associated with Huntington’s disease. PMID:26869817

  16. Molecular Chaperone Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Effects of Curcumin

    PubMed Central

    Frautschy, Sally

    2014-01-01

    The intra- and extracellular accumulation of misfolded and aggregated amyloid proteins is a common feature in several neurodegenerative diseases, which is thought to play a major role in disease severity and progression. The principal machineries maintaining proteostasis are the ubiquitin proteasomal and lysosomal autophagy systems, where heat shock proteins play a crucial role. Many protein aggregates are degraded by the lysosomes, depending on aggregate size, peptide sequence, and degree of misfolding, while others are selectively tagged for removal by heat shock proteins and degraded by either the proteasome or phagosomes. These systems are compromised in different neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, developing novel targets and classes of therapeutic drugs, which can reduce aggregates and maintain proteostasis in the brains of neurodegenerative models, is vital. Natural products that can modulate heat shock proteins/proteosomal pathway are considered promising for treating neurodegenerative diseases. Here we discuss the current knowledge on the role of HSPs in protein misfolding diseases and knowledge gained from animal models of Alzheimer's disease, tauopathies, and Huntington's diseases. Further, we discuss the emerging treatment regimens for these diseases using natural products, like curcumin, which can augment expression or function of heat shock proteins in the cell. PMID:25386560

  17. Les Liaisons Dangereuses: Cancer-Related Genes and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghetti, Bernardino; Buonaguro, Franco M.

    2014-07-01

    The following sections are included: * INTRODUCTION * MUTATIONS IN THE CSF1R GENE ASSOCIATED WITH DIFFUSE LEUKOENCEPHALOPATHY WITH SPHEROIDS AND HUMAN CANCERS. * A SPECIAL LINK HAS BEEN SHOWN BETWEEN PTEN AND AD. * ACETYLCHOLINE DEFICIENCY AND PATHOGENESIS OF AD. * MIRNAS AND COMMON PATHWAYS IN CANCER AND NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASE. * SUMMARY * REFERENCES

  18. Quantitative analysis on electrooculography (EOG) for neurodegenerative disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Chang-Chia; Chaovalitwongse, W. Art; Pardalos, Panos M.; Seref, Onur; Xanthopoulos, Petros; Sackellares, J. C.; Skidmore, Frank M.

    2007-11-01

    Many studies have documented abnormal horizontal and vertical eye movements in human neurodegenerative disease as well as during altered states of consciousness (including drowsiness and intoxication) in healthy adults. Eye movement measurement may play an important role measuring the progress of neurodegenerative diseases and state of alertness in healthy individuals. There are several techniques for measuring eye movement, Infrared detection technique (IR). Video-oculography (VOG), Scleral eye coil and EOG. Among those available recording techniques, EOG is a major source for monitoring the abnormal eye movement. In this real-time quantitative analysis study, the methods which can capture the characteristic of the eye movement were proposed to accurately categorize the state of neurodegenerative subjects. The EOG recordings were taken while 5 tested subjects were watching a short (>120 s) animation clip. In response to the animated clip the participants executed a number of eye movements, including vertical smooth pursued (SVP), horizontal smooth pursued (HVP) and random saccades (RS). Detection of abnormalities in ocular movement may improve our diagnosis and understanding a neurodegenerative disease and altered states of consciousness. A standard real-time quantitative analysis will improve detection and provide a better understanding of pathology in these disorders.

  19. Effects of Auditory Input in Individuation Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Christopher W.; Sloutsky, Vladimir M.

    2008-01-01

    Under many conditions auditory input interferes with visual processing, especially early in development. These interference effects are often more pronounced when the auditory input is unfamiliar than when the auditory input is familiar (e.g. human speech, pre-familiarized sounds, etc.). The current study extends this research by examining how…

  20. Feature Assignment in Perception of Auditory Figure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gregg, Melissa K.; Samuel, Arthur G.

    2012-01-01

    Because the environment often includes multiple sounds that overlap in time, listeners must segregate a sound of interest (the auditory figure) from other co-occurring sounds (the unattended auditory ground). We conducted a series of experiments to clarify the principles governing the extraction of auditory figures. We distinguish between auditory…

  1. Auditory hedonic phenotypes in dementia: A behavioural and neuroanatomical analysis

    PubMed Central

    Fletcher, Phillip D.; Downey, Laura E.; Golden, Hannah L.; Clark, Camilla N.; Slattery, Catherine F.; Paterson, Ross W.; Schott, Jonathan M.; Rohrer, Jonathan D.; Rossor, Martin N.; Warren, Jason D.

    2015-01-01

    Patients with dementia may exhibit abnormally altered liking for environmental sounds and music but such altered auditory hedonic responses have not been studied systematically. Here we addressed this issue in a cohort of 73 patients representing major canonical dementia syndromes (behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), semantic dementia (SD), progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA) amnestic Alzheimer's disease (AD)) using a semi-structured caregiver behavioural questionnaire and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) of patients' brain MR images. Behavioural responses signalling abnormal aversion to environmental sounds, aversion to music or heightened pleasure in music (‘musicophilia’) occurred in around half of the cohort but showed clear syndromic and genetic segregation, occurring in most patients with bvFTD but infrequently in PNFA and more commonly in association with MAPT than C9orf72 mutations. Aversion to sounds was the exclusive auditory phenotype in AD whereas more complex phenotypes including musicophilia were common in bvFTD and SD. Auditory hedonic alterations correlated with grey matter loss in a common, distributed, right-lateralised network including antero-mesial temporal lobe, insula, anterior cingulate and nucleus accumbens. Our findings suggest that abnormalities of auditory hedonic processing are a significant issue in common dementias. Sounds may constitute a novel probe of brain mechanisms for emotional salience coding that are targeted by neurodegenerative disease. PMID:25929717

  2. Early auditory enrichment with music enhances auditory discrimination learning and alters NR2B protein expression in rat auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jinghong; Yu, Liping; Cai, Rui; Zhang, Jiping; Sun, Xinde

    2009-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that the functional development of auditory system is substantially influenced by the structure of environmental acoustic inputs in early life. In our present study, we investigated the effects of early auditory enrichment with music on rat auditory discrimination learning. We found that early auditory enrichment with music from postnatal day (PND) 14 enhanced learning ability in auditory signal-detection task and in sound duration-discrimination task. In parallel, a significant increase was noted in NMDA receptor subunit NR2B protein expression in the auditory cortex. Furthermore, we found that auditory enrichment with music starting from PND 28 or 56 did not influence NR2B expression in the auditory cortex. No difference was found in the NR2B expression in the inferior colliculus (IC) between music-exposed and normal rats, regardless of when the auditory enrichment with music was initiated. Our findings suggest that early auditory enrichment with music influences NMDA-mediated neural plasticity, which results in enhanced auditory discrimination learning. PMID:18706452

  3. Combined Auditory and Vibrotactile Feedback for Human-Machine-Interface Control.

    PubMed

    Thorp, Elias B; Larson, Eric; Stepp, Cara E

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of the addition of binary vibrotactile stimulation to continuous auditory feedback (vowel synthesis) for human-machine interface (HMI) control. Sixteen healthy participants controlled facial surface electromyography to achieve 2-D targets (vowels). Eight participants used only real-time auditory feedback to locate targets whereas the other eight participants were additionally alerted to having achieved targets with confirmatory vibrotactile stimulation at the index finger. All participants trained using their assigned feedback modality (auditory alone or combined auditory and vibrotactile) over three sessions on three days and completed a fourth session on the third day using novel targets to assess generalization. Analyses of variance performed on the 1) percentage of targets reached and 2) percentage of trial time at the target revealed a main effect for feedback modality: participants using combined auditory and vibrotactile feedback performed significantly better than those using auditory feedback alone. No effect was found for session or the interaction of feedback modality and session, indicating a successful generalization to novel targets but lack of improvement over training sessions. Future research is necessary to determine the cognitive cost associated with combined auditory and vibrotactile feedback during HMI control. PMID:23912500

  4. A review on auditory space adaptations to altered head-related cues

    PubMed Central

    Mendonça, Catarina

    2014-01-01

    In this article we present a review of current literature on adaptations to altered head-related auditory localization cues. Localization cues can be altered through ear blocks, ear molds, electronic hearing devices, and altered head-related transfer functions (HRTFs). Three main methods have been used to induce auditory space adaptation: sound exposure, training with feedback, and explicit training. Adaptations induced by training, rather than exposure, are consistently faster. Studies on localization with altered head-related cues have reported poor initial localization, but improved accuracy and discriminability with training. Also, studies that displaced the auditory space by altering cue values reported adaptations in perceived source position to compensate for such displacements. Auditory space adaptations can last for a few months even without further contact with the learned cues. In most studies, localization with the subject's own unaltered cues remained intact despite the adaptation to a second set of cues. Generalization is observed from trained to untrained sound source positions, but there is mixed evidence regarding cross-frequency generalization. Multiple brain areas might be involved in auditory space adaptation processes, but the auditory cortex (AC) may play a critical role. Auditory space plasticity may involve context-dependent cue reweighting. PMID:25120422

  5. Happiness increases distraction by auditory deviant stimuli.

    PubMed

    Pacheco-Unguetti, Antonia Pilar; Parmentier, Fabrice B R

    2016-08-01

    Rare and unexpected changes (deviants) in an otherwise repeated stream of task-irrelevant auditory distractors (standards) capture attention and impair behavioural performance in an ongoing visual task. Recent evidence indicates that this effect is increased by sadness in a task involving neutral stimuli. We tested the hypothesis that such effect may not be limited to negative emotions but reflect a general depletion of attentional resources by examining whether a positive emotion (happiness) would increase deviance distraction too. Prior to performing an auditory-visual oddball task, happiness or a neutral mood was induced in participants by means of the exposure to music and the recollection of an autobiographical event. Results from the oddball task showed significantly larger deviance distraction following the induction of happiness. Interestingly, the small amount of distraction typically observed on the standard trial following a deviant trial (post-deviance distraction) was not increased by happiness. We speculate that happiness might interfere with the disengagement of attention from the deviant sound back towards the target stimulus (through the depletion of cognitive resources and/or mind wandering) but help subsequent cognitive control to recover from distraction. PMID:26302716

  6. Delayed Auditory Feedback and Movement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pfordresher, Peter Q.; Dalla Bella, Simone

    2011-01-01

    It is well known that timing of rhythm production is disrupted by delayed auditory feedback (DAF), and that disruption varies with delay length. We tested the hypothesis that disruption depends on the state of the movement trajectory at the onset of DAF. Participants tapped isochronous rhythms at a rate specified by a metronome while hearing DAF…

  7. Regular patterns stabilize auditory streams.

    PubMed

    Bendixen, Alexandra; Denham, Susan L; Gyimesi, Kinga; Winkler, István

    2010-12-01

    The auditory system continuously parses the acoustic environment into auditory objects, usually representing separate sound sources. Sound sources typically show characteristic emission patterns. These regular temporal sound patterns are possible cues for distinguishing sound sources. The present study was designed to test whether regular patterns are used as cues for source distinction and to specify the role that detecting these regularities may play in the process of auditory stream segregation. Participants were presented with tone sequences, and they were asked to continuously indicate whether they perceived the tones in terms of a single coherent sequence of sounds (integrated) or as two concurrent sound streams (segregated). Unknown to the participant, in some stimulus conditions, regular patterns were present in one or both putative streams. In all stimulus conditions, participants' perception switched back and forth between the two sound organizations. Importantly, regular patterns occurring in either one or both streams prolonged the mean duration of two-stream percepts, whereas the duration of one-stream percepts was unaffected. These results suggest that temporal regularities are utilized in auditory scene analysis. It appears that the role of this cue lies in stabilizing streams once they have been formed on the basis of simpler acoustic cues. PMID:21218898

  8. Dynamics of auditory working memory

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Jochen

    2015-01-01

    Working memory denotes the ability to retain stimuli in mind that are no longer physically present and to perform mental operations on them. Electro- and magnetoencephalography allow investigating the short-term maintenance of acoustic stimuli at a high temporal resolution. Studies investigating working memory for non-spatial and spatial auditory information have suggested differential roles of regions along the putative auditory ventral and dorsal streams, respectively, in the processing of the different sound properties. Analyses of event-related potentials have shown sustained, memory load-dependent deflections over the retention periods. The topography of these waves suggested an involvement of modality-specific sensory storage regions. Spectral analysis has yielded information about the temporal dynamics of auditory working memory processing of individual stimuli, showing activation peaks during the delay phase whose timing was related to task performance. Coherence at different frequencies was enhanced between frontal and sensory cortex. In summary, auditory working memory seems to rely on the dynamic interplay between frontal executive systems and sensory representation regions. PMID:26029146

  9. Theta, beta and gamma rate modulations in the developing auditory system.

    PubMed

    Vanvooren, Sophie; Hofmann, Michael; Poelmans, Hanne; Ghesquière, Pol; Wouters, Jan

    2015-09-01

    In the brain, the temporal analysis of many important auditory features relies on the synchronized firing of neurons to the auditory input rhythm. These so-called neural oscillations play a crucial role in sensory and cognitive processing and deviances in oscillatory activity have shown to be associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. Given the importance of neural auditory oscillations in normal and impaired sensory and cognitive functioning, there has been growing interest in their developmental trajectory from early childhood on. In the present study, neural auditory processing was investigated in typically developing young children (n = 40) and adults (n = 27). In all participants, auditory evoked theta, beta and gamma responses were recorded. The results of this study show maturational differences between children and adults in neural auditory processing at cortical as well as at brainstem level. Neural background noise at cortical level was shown to be higher in children compared to adults. In addition, higher theta response amplitudes were measured in children compared to adults. For beta and gamma rate modulations, different processing asymmetry patterns were observed between both age groups. The mean response phase was also shown to differ significantly between children and adults for all rates. Results suggest that cortical auditory processing of beta develops from a general processing pattern into a more specialized asymmetric processing preference over age. Moreover, the results indicate an enhancement of bilateral representation of monaural sound input at brainstem with age. A dissimilar efficiency of auditory signal transmission from brainstem to cortex along the auditory pathway between children and adults is suggested. These developmental differences might be due to both functional experience-dependent as well as anatomical changes. The findings of the present study offer important information about maturational differences between children

  10. Reverse engineering human neurodegenerative disease using pluripotent stem cell technology.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ying; Deng, Wenbin

    2016-05-01

    With the technology of reprogramming somatic cells by introducing defined transcription factors that enables the generation of "induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)" with pluripotency comparable to that of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), it has become possible to use this technology to produce various cells and tissues that have been difficult to obtain from living bodies. This advancement is bringing forth rapid progress in iPSC-based disease modeling, drug screening, and regenerative medicine. More and more studies have demonstrated that phenotypes of adult-onset neurodegenerative disorders could be rather faithfully recapitulated in iPSC-derived neural cell cultures. Moreover, despite the adult-onset nature of the diseases, pathogenic phenotypes and cellular abnormalities often exist in early developmental stages, providing new "windows of opportunity" for understanding mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders and for discovering new medicines. The cell reprogramming technology enables a reverse engineering approach for modeling the cellular degenerative phenotypes of a wide range of human disorders. An excellent example is the study of the human neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using iPSCs. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of upper and lower motor neurons (MNs), culminating in muscle wasting and death from respiratory failure. The iPSC approach provides innovative cell culture platforms to serve as ALS patient-derived model systems. Researchers have converted iPSCs derived from ALS patients into MNs and various types of glial cells, all of which are involved in ALS, to study the disease. The iPSC technology could be used to determine the role of specific genetic factors to track down what׳s wrong in the neurodegenerative disease process in the "disease-in-a-dish" model. Meanwhile, parallel experiments of targeting the same specific genes in human ESCs could also be performed to

  11. The Encoding of Auditory Objects in Auditory Cortex: Insights from Magnetoencephalography

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Jonathan Z.

    2014-01-01

    Auditory objects, like their visual counterparts, are perceptually defined constructs, but nevertheless must arise from underlying neural circuitry. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings of the neural responses of human subjects listening to complex auditory scenes, we review studies that demonstrate that auditory objects are indeed neurally represented in auditory cortex. The studies use neural responses obtained from different experiments in which subjects selectively listen to one of two competing auditory streams embedded in a variety of auditory scenes. The auditory streams overlap spatially and often spectrally. In particular, the studies demonstrate that selective attentional gain does not act globally on the entire auditory scene, but rather acts differentially on the separate auditory streams. This stream-based attentional gain is then used as a tool to individually analyze the different neural representations of the competing auditory streams. The neural representation of the attended stream, located in posterior auditory cortex, dominates the neural responses. Critically, when the intensities of the attended and background streams are separately varied over a wide intensity range, the neural representation of the attended speech adapts only to the intensity of that speaker, irrespective of the intensity of the background speaker. This demonstrates object-level intensity gain control in addition to the above object-level selective attentional gain. Overall, these results indicate that concurrently streaming auditory objects, even if spectrally overlapping and not resolvable at the auditory periphery, are individually neurally encoded in auditory cortex, as separate objects. PMID:24841996

  12. Pharmacological Effects of Active Compounds on Neurodegenerative Disease with Gastrodia and Uncaria Decoction, a Commonly Used Poststroke Decoction

    PubMed Central

    Chik, Stanley C. C.; Or, Terry C. T.; Luo, D.; Yang, Cindy L. H.; Lau, Allan S. Y.

    2013-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases refer to the selective loss of neuronal systems in patients. The diseases cause high morbidity and mortality to approximately 22 million people worldwide and the number is expected to be tripled by 2050. Up to now, there is no effective prevention and treatment for the neurodegenerative diseases. Although some of the clinical therapies target at slowing down the progression of symptoms of the diseases, the general effectiveness of the drugs has been far from satisfactory. Traditional Chinese medicine becomes popular alternative remedies as it has been practiced clinically for more than thousands of years in China. As neurodegenerative diseases are mediated through different pathways, herbal decoction with multiple herbs is used as an effective therapeutic approach to work on multiple targets. Gastrodia and Uncaria Decoction, a popular TCM decoction, has been used to treat stroke in China. The decoction contains compounds including alkaloids, flavonoids, iridoids, carotenoids, and natural phenols, which have been found to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and antiapoptotic effects. In this review, we will summarize the recent publications of the pharmacological effects of these five groups of compounds. Understanding the mechanisms of action of these compounds may provide new treatment opportunities for the patients with neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24348193

  13. Oxidative stress, redox signalling and endothelial dysfunction in ageing-related neurodegenerative diseases: a role of NADPH oxidase 2

    PubMed Central

    Cahill-Smith, Sarah; Li, Jian-Mei

    2014-01-01

    Chronic oxidative stress and oxidative damage of the cerebral microvasculature and brain cells has become one of the most convincing theories in neurodegenerative pathology. Controlled oxidative metabolism and redox signalling in the central nervous system are crucial for maintaining brain function; however, excessive production of reactive oxygen species and enhanced redox signalling damage neurons. While several enzymes and metabolic processes can generate intracellular reactive oxygen species in the brain, recently an O2−-generating enzyme, NADPH oxidase 2 (Nox2), has emerged as a major source of oxidative stress in ageing-related vascular endothelial dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases. The currently available inhibitors of Nox2 are not specific, and general antioxidant therapy is not effective in the clinic; therefore, insights into the mechanism of Nox2 activation and its signalling pathways are needed for the discovery of novel drug targets to prevent or treat these neurodegenerative diseases. This review summarizes the recent developments in understanding the mechanisms of Nox2 activation and redox-sensitive signalling pathways and biomarkers involved in the pathophysiology of the most common neurodegenerative diseases, such as ageing-related mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. PMID:25279404

  14. A brain-computer interface controlled auditory event-related potential (p300) spelling system for locked-in patients.

    PubMed

    Kübler, Andrea; Furdea, Adrian; Halder, Sebastian; Hammer, Eva Maria; Nijboer, Femke; Kotchoubey, Boris

    2009-03-01

    Using brain-computer interfaces (BCI) humans can select letters or other targets on a computer screen without any muscular involvement. An intensively investigated kind of BCI is based on the recording of visual event-related brain potentials (ERP). However, some severely paralyzed patients who need a BCI for communication have impaired vision or lack control of gaze movement, thus making a BCI depending on visual input no longer feasible. In an effort to render the ERP-BCI usable for this group of patients, the ERP-BCI was adapted to auditory stimulation. Letters of the alphabet were assigned to cells in a 5 x 5 matrix. Rows of the matrix were coded with numbers 1 to 5, and columns with numbers 6 to 10, and the numbers were presented auditorily. To select a letter, users had to first select the row and then the column containing the desired letter. Four severely paralyzed patients in the end-stage of a neurodegenerative disease were examined. All patients performed above chance level. Spelling accuracy was significantly lower with the auditory system as compared with a similar visual system. Patients reported difficulties in concentrating on the task when presented with the auditory system. In future studies, the auditory ERP-BCI should be adjusted by taking into consideration specific features of severely paralyzed patients, such as reduced attention span. This adjustment in combination with more intensive training will show whether an auditory ERP-BCI can become an option for visually impaired patients. PMID:19351359

  15. Genetics Underlying Atypical Parkinsonism and Related Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Scholz, Sonja W.; Bras, Jose

    2015-01-01

    Atypical parkinsonism syndromes, such as dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration, are neurodegenerative diseases with complex clinical and pathological features. Heterogeneity in clinical presentations, possible secondary determinants as well as mimic syndromes pose a major challenge to accurately diagnose patients suffering from these devastating conditions. Over the last two decades, significant advancements in genomic technologies have provided us with increasing insights into the molecular pathogenesis of atypical parkinsonism and their intriguing relationships to related neurodegenerative diseases, fueling new hopes to incorporate molecular knowledge into our diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic approaches towards managing these conditions. In this review article, we summarize the current understanding of genetic mechanisms implicated in atypical parkinsonism syndromes. We further highlight mimic syndromes relevant to differential considerations and possible future directions. PMID:26501269

  16. Genetics Underlying Atypical Parkinsonism and Related Neurodegenerative Disorders.

    PubMed

    Scholz, Sonja W; Bras, Jose

    2015-01-01

    Atypical parkinsonism syndromes, such as dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration, are neurodegenerative diseases with complex clinical and pathological features. Heterogeneity in clinical presentations, possible secondary determinants as well as mimic syndromes pose a major challenge to accurately diagnose patients suffering from these devastating conditions. Over the last two decades, significant advancements in genomic technologies have provided us with increasing insights into the molecular pathogenesis of atypical parkinsonism and their intriguing relationships to related neurodegenerative diseases, fueling new hopes to incorporate molecular knowledge into our diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic approaches towards managing these conditions. In this review article, we summarize the current understanding of genetic mechanisms implicated in atypical parkinsonism syndromes. We further highlight mimic syndromes relevant to differential considerations and possible future directions. PMID:26501269

  17. Neurodegenerative diseases and widespread aggregation are associated with supersaturated proteins

    PubMed Central

    Ciryam, Prajwal; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano; Morimoto, Richard I.; Dobson, Christopher M.; Vendruscolo, Michele

    2013-01-01

    Summary The maintenance of protein solubility is a fundamental aspect of protein homeostasis, as aggregation is associated with cytotoxicity and a variety of human diseases. Numerous proteins unrelated in sequence and structure, however, can misfold and aggregate, and widespread aggregation can occur in living systems under stress or ageing. A crucial question in this context is why only certain proteins aggregate in vivo while others do not. We identify here the proteins most vulnerable to aggregation as those whose cellular concentrations are high relative to their solubilities. These supersaturated proteins represent a metastable sub-proteome involved in pathological aggregation during stress and ageing, and are overrepresented in biochemical processes associated with neurodegenerative disorders. Consequently, such cellular processes become dysfunctional when the ability to keep intrinsically supersaturated proteins soluble is compromised. Thus, the simultaneous analysis of abundance and solubility can rationalize the diverse cellular pathologies linked to neurodegenerative diseases and aging. PMID:24183671

  18. Brain CHIP: removing the culprits in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Dickey, Chad A; Patterson, Cam; Dickson, Dennis; Petrucelli, Leonard

    2007-01-01

    A factor that is common to the most-frequent neurodegenerative diseases is the accumulation of abnormal proteins that are associated with cellular dysfunction. Contrary to years of speculation, recent evidence suggests that soluble intermediates--not the visible pathological aggregates associated with disease--are the cause of neurotoxicity. These findings suggest that aggregate formation might be an adaptive stress response that is facilitated by neuronal protein triage molecules. In particular, the molecular co-chaperone CHIP (C terminus of HSC70-interacting protein) has been linked to several of these disorders, serving as a crucial catalyst for the ubiquitination of several heat shock protein (HSP)70 client proteins that are involved in neurodegenerative disease. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms that are involved in CHIP-mediated protein trafficking might provide invaluable clues to neuronal function, both in normal and diseased conditions. PMID:17127096

  19. POTENTIAL FUTURE NEUROPROTECTIVE THERAPIES FOR NEURODEGENERATIVE DISORDERS AND STROKE

    PubMed Central

    Tarawneh, Rawan; Galvin, James E.

    2009-01-01

    The cellular mechanisms underlying neuronal loss and neurodegeneration have been an area of interest in the last decade. Although neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Huntington’s disease (HD) each have distinct clinical symptoms and pathologies, they all share common mechanisms such as protein aggregation, oxidative injury, inflammation, apoptosis and mitochondrial injury that contribute to neuronal loss. Although cerebrovascular disease is due to etiologies quite different from the neurodegenerative disorders, many of the same common disease mechanisms come into play following a stroke. Novel therapies that target each of these mechanisms may be effective in decreasing the risk of disease, abating symptoms or slowing down their progression. While most of these therapies are experimental, and require further investigation, a few seem to offer promise in the near future. PMID:20176298

  20. Aberrant Protein S-Nitrosylation in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tomohiro; Tu, Shichun; Akhtar, Mohd Waseem; Sunico, Carmen R.; Okamoto, Shu-ichi; Lipton, Stuart A.

    2013-01-01

    S-Nitrosylation is a redox-mediated posttranslational modification that regulates protein function via covalent reaction of nitric oxide (NO)-related species with a cysteine thiol group on the target protein. Under physiological conditions, S-nitrosylation can be an important modulator of signal transduction pathways, akin to phosphorylation. However, with aging or environmental toxins that generate excessive NO, aberrant S-nitrosylation reactions can occur and affect protein misfolding, mitochondrial fragmentation, synaptic function, apoptosis or autophagy. Here, we discuss how aberrantly S-nitrosylated proteins (SNO-proteins) play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Insight into the pathophysiological role of aberrant S-nitrosylation pathways will enhance our understanding of molecular mechanisms leading to neurodegenerative diseases and point to potential therapeutic interventions. PMID:23719160

  1. Therapeutic targeting of autophagy in neurodegenerative and infectious diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bento, Carla F.

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy is a conserved process that uses double-membrane vesicles to deliver cytoplasmic contents to lysosomes for degradation. Although autophagy may impact many facets of human biology and disease, in this review we focus on the ability of autophagy to protect against certain neurodegenerative and infectious diseases. Autophagy enhances the clearance of toxic, cytoplasmic, aggregate-prone proteins and infectious agents. The beneficial roles of autophagy can now be extended to supporting cell survival and regulating inflammation. Autophagic control of inflammation is one area where autophagy may have similar benefits for both infectious and neurodegenerative diseases beyond direct removal of the pathogenic agents. Preclinical data supporting the potential therapeutic utility of autophagy modulation in such conditions is accumulating. PMID:26101267

  2. Transposable Elements in TDP-43-Mediated Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Hammell, Molly; Dubnau, Josh

    2012-01-01

    Elevated expression of specific transposable elements (TEs) has been observed in several neurodegenerative disorders. TEs also can be active during normal neurogenesis. By mining a series of deep sequencing datasets of protein-RNA interactions and of gene expression profiles, we uncovered extensive binding of TE transcripts to TDP-43, an RNA-binding protein central to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Second, we find that association between TDP-43 and many of its TE targets is reduced in FTLD patients. Third, we discovered that a large fraction of the TEs to which TDP-43 binds become de-repressed in mouse TDP-43 disease models. We propose the hypothesis that TE mis-regulation contributes to TDP-43 related neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:22957047

  3. Unbiased approaches to biomarker discovery in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Chen-Plotkin, Alice S.

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and frontotemporal dementia have several important features in common. They are progressive, they affect a relatively inaccessible organ, and we have no disease-modifying therapies for them. For these brain-based diseases, current diagnosis and evaluation of disease severity rely almost entirely on clinical examination, which may only be a rough approximation of disease state. Thus, the development of biomarkers – objective, relatively easily measured and precise indicators of pathogenic processes – could improve patient care and accelerate therapeutic discovery. Yet existing, rigorously tested neurodegenerative disease biomarkers are few, and even fewer biomarkers have translated into clinical use. To find new biomarkers for these diseases, an unbiased, high-throughput screening approach may be needed. In this review, I will describe the potential utility of such an approach to biomarker discovery, using Parkinson’s disease as a case example. PMID:25442938

  4. Nutraceuticals and amyloid neurodegenerative diseases: a focus on natural phenols.

    PubMed

    Rigacci, Stefania; Stefani, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    A common molecular feature of amyloid neurodegenerative diseases is the unfolding/misfolding of specific proteins/peptides which consequently become prone to aggregate into toxic assemblies and deposits that are the key histopathological trait of these pathologies. Apart from the rare early-onset familiar forms, these neurodegenerative diseases are age-associated disorders whose symptoms appear in aged people after long incubation periods. This makes the therapeutic approach particularly compelling and boosts the search for both early diagnostic tools and preventive approaches. In this last respect, natural compounds commonly present in foods and beverages are considered promising molecules, at least on the bench side. The so-called 'nutraceutical approach' suggests life-long healthy diets, particularly focusing on food molecules that are candidates to enter clinical trials as such or following a targeted molecular engineering. Natural phenols abundant in 'healthy' foods such as extra virgin olive oil, red wine, green tea, red berries and spices, appear particularly promising. PMID:25418871

  5. Protective effects of isolecanoric acid on neurodegenerative in vitro models.

    PubMed

    de Pedro, Nuria; Cantizani, Juan; Ortiz-López, Francisco Javier; González-Menéndez, Victor; Cautain, Bastien; Rodríguez, Lorena; Bills, Gerald F; Reyes, Fernando; Genilloud, Olga; Vicente, Francisca

    2016-02-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), are neurodegenerative disorders characterized by loss of dopaminergic or motor neurons, respectively. Although understanding of the PD and ALS pathogenesis remains incomplete, increasing evidence from human and animal studies has suggested that aberrant GSK3β, oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage are involved in their pathogenesis. Using two different molecular models, treatment with L-BMAA for ALS and rotenone for PD the effect of isolecanoric acid, a natural product isolated from a fungal culture, was evaluated. Pre-treatment with this molecule caused inhibition of GSK3β and CK1, and a decrease in oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage, apoptosis and cell death. Taken together, these results indicated that isolecanoric acid might have a protective effect against the development of these neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:26455662

  6. Representation of speech in human auditory cortex: Is it special?

    PubMed Central

    Steinschneider, Mitchell; Nourski, Kirill V.; Fishman, Yonatan I.

    2013-01-01

    Successful categorization of phonemes in speech requires that the brain analyze the acoustic signal along both spectral and temporal dimensions. Neural encoding of the stimulus amplitude envelope is critical for parsing the speech stream into syllabic units. Encoding of voice onset time (VOT) and place of articulation (POA), cues necessary for determining phonemic identity, occurs within shorter time frames. An unresolved question is whether the neural representation of speech is based on processing mechanisms that are unique to humans and shaped by learning and experience, or is based on rules governing general auditory processing that are also present in non-human animals. This question was examined by comparing the neural activity elicited by speech and other complex vocalizations in primary auditory cortex of macaques, who are limited vocal learners, with that in Heschl’s gyrus, the putative location of primary auditory cortex in humans. Entrainment to the amplitude envelope is neither specific to humans nor to human speech. VOT is represented by responses time-locked to consonant release and voicing onset in both humans and monkeys. Temporal representation of VOT is observed both for isolated syllables and for syllables embedded in the more naturalistic context of running speech. The fundamental frequency of male speakers is represented by more rapid neural activity phase-locked to the glottal pulsation rate in both humans and monkeys. In both species, the differential representation of stop consonants varying in their POA can be predicted by the relationship between the frequency selectivity of neurons and the onset spectra of the speech sounds. These findings indicate that the neurophysiology of primary auditory cortex is similar in monkeys and humans despite their vastly different experience with human speech, and that Heschl’s gyrus is engaged in general auditory, and not language-specific, processing. PMID:23792076

  7. Clinical neurogenetics: behavioral management of inherited neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Wexler, Eric

    2013-11-01

    Psychiatric symptoms often manifest years before overt neurologic signs in patients with inherited neurodegenerative disease. The most frequently cited example of this phenomenon is the early onset of personality changes in "presymptomatic" Huntington patients. In some cases the changes in mood and cognition are even more debilitating than their neurologic symptoms. The goal of this article is to provide the neurologist with a concise primer that can be applied in a busy clinic or private practice. PMID:24176427

  8. Hyperactive somatostatin interneurons contribute to excitotoxicity in neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wen; Zhang, Lifeng; Liang, Bo; Schroeder, David; Zhang, Zhong-Wei; Cox, Gregory A; Li, Yun; Lin, Da-Ting

    2016-04-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are overlapping neurodegenerative disorders whose pathogenesis remains largely unknown. Using TDP-43(A315T) mice, an ALS and FTD model with marked cortical pathology, we found that hyperactive somatostatin interneurons disinhibited layer 5 pyramidal neurons (L5-PNs) and contributed to their excitotoxicity. Focal ablation of somatostatin interneurons efficiently restored normal excitability of L5-PNs and alleviated neurodegeneration, suggesting a new therapeutic target for ALS and FTD. PMID:26900927

  9. Pharmacotherapy for Neurodegenerative Diseases: Are We Approaching the Tipping Point?

    PubMed

    Honig, P K

    2015-11-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases continue to represent major unmet medical and public health needs and will increasingly strain the healthcare system as people live longer due to medical advances in other diseases. Hopefully the emergence of increased understanding of the biology of these conditions coupled with novel clinical pharmacology tools, clinical trial designs, and regulatory innovation will allow the emergence of highly effective symptomatic and disease modifying pharmacotherapies. PMID:26478996

  10. PET/MR in dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Barthel, Henryk; Schroeter, Matthias L; Hoffmann, Karl-Titus; Sabri, Osama

    2015-05-01

    The spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases covers the dementias, parkinsonian syndromes, Huntington disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and prion diseases. In these entities, brain MRI is often used in clinical routine to exclude other pathologies and to demonstrate specific atrophy patterns. [18F]FDG PET delivers early and sensitive readouts of neural tissue loss, and more specific PET tracers currently in use clinically target β-amyloid plaques or dopaminergic deficiency. The recent integration of PET into MR technology offers a new chance to improve early and differential diagnosis of many neurodegenerative diseases. Initial evidence in the literature is available to support this notion. New emerging PET tracers, such as tracers that bind to tau or α-synuclein aggregates, as well as MR techniques, like diffusion-tensor imaging, resting-state functional MRI, and arterial spin labeling, have the potential to broaden the diagnostic capabilities of combined PET/MRI to image dementias, Parkinson disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases. The ultimate goal is to establish combined PET/MRI as a first-line imaging technique to provide, in a one-stop-shop fashion with improved patient comfort, all biomarker information required to increase diagnostic confidence toward specific diagnoses. The technical challenge of accurate PET data attenuation correction within PET/MRI systems needs yet to be solved. Apart from the projected clinical routine applications, future research would need to answer the questions of whether combined brain PET/MRI is able to improve basic research of neurodegenerative diseases and antineurodegeneration drug testing. PMID:25841277

  11. Neurodegenerative changes in patients with clinical history of bipolar disorders.

    PubMed

    Shioya, Ayako; Saito, Yuko; Arima, Kunimasa; Kakuta, Yukio; Yuzuriha, Takefumi; Tanaka, Noriko; Murayama, Shigeo; Tamaoka, Akira

    2015-06-01

    Neurodegeneration in bipolar disorder (BPD) is poorly understood. Therefore, the current study was designed to assess the immunohistochemical changes in neurodegenerative markers in patients with BPD. Eleven consecutive autopsy cases diagnosed with BPD were analyzed. Sections were obtained from archival paraffin blocks of representative areas and stained using conventional methods, as well as immunostained with several antibodies to screen for neurodegenerative diseases. Age- and non-argyrophilic grains (AGs) degeneration matched controls were selected for each case. Clinical information was retrospectively collected from medical charts. All patients were men, and the average age of death was 70 years. Neuropathological diagnoses included dementia with grains (2), argyrophilic grain disease (2), corticobasal degeneration (CBD, 1), Lewy body disease (1), hypoxic encephalopathy (1) and cerebral infarction (1). All cases showed AGs to various degrees. Three patients died in their 50s; one demonstrated dementia with Lewy bodies, while the other two showed abundant AGs in the thalamus and amygdala. Of the three patients who died in their 60s, one showed AGs preferentially in the thalamus and amygdala, while the others demonstrated limbic predominance. The patients who died in/after their 70s demonstrated AGs similar to controls, except for the patient with CBD. Our data provides potentiality that neurodegenerative diseases may be an underlying pathology in certain cases of BPD. PMID:25819679

  12. TRPM7 and its role in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yuyang; Sukumaran, Pramod; Schaar, Anne; Singh, Brij B

    2015-01-01

    Calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+) ions have been shown to play an important role in regulating various neuronal functions. In the present review we focus on the emerging role of transient potential melastatin-7 (TRPM7) channel in not only regulating Ca2+ and Mg2+ homeostasis necessary for biological functions, but also how alterations in TRPM7 function/expression could induce neurodegeneration. Although eight TRPM channels have been identified, the channel properties, mode of activation, and physiological responses of various TRPM channels are quite distinct. Among the known 8 TRPM channels only TRPM6 and TRPM7 channels are highly permeable to both Ca2+ and Mg2+; however here we will only focus on TRPM7 as unlike TRPM6, TRPM7 channels are abundantly expressed in neuronal cells. Importantly, the discrepancy in TRPM7 channel function and expression leads to various neuronal diseases such as Alzheimer disease (AD) and Parkinson disease (PD). Further, it is emerging as a key factor in anoxic neuronal death and in other neurodegenerative disorders. Thus, by understanding the precise involvement of the TRPM7 channels in different neurodegenerative diseases and by understanding the factors that regulate TRPM7 channels, we could uncover new strategies in the future that could evolve as new drug therapeutic targets for effective treatment of these neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26218331

  13. Neural substrates of spontaneous narrative production in focal neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Gola, Kelly A; Thorne, Avril; Veldhuisen, Lisa D; Felix, Cordula M; Hankinson, Sarah; Pham, Julie; Shany-Ur, Tal; Schauer, Guido P; Stanley, Christine M; Glenn, Shenly; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P

    2015-12-01

    Conversational storytelling integrates diverse cognitive and socio-emotional abilities that critically differ across neurodegenerative disease groups. Storytelling patterns may have diagnostic relevance and predict anatomic changes. The present study employed mixed methods discourse and quantitative analyses to delineate patterns of storytelling across focal neurodegenerative disease groups, and to clarify the neuroanatomical contributions to common storytelling characteristics. Transcripts of spontaneous social interactions of 46 participants (15 behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), 7 semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), 12 Alzheimer's disease (AD), and 12 healthy older normal controls (NC)) were analyzed for storytelling frequency and characteristics, and videos of the interactions were rated for patients' level of social attentiveness. Compared to controls, svPPAs told more stories and autobiographical stories, and perseverated on aspects of self during the interaction, whereas ADs told fewer autobiographical stories than NCs. svPPAs and bvFTDs were rated as less attentive to social cues. Aspects of storytelling were related to diverse cognitive and socio-emotional functions, and voxel-based anatomic analysis of structural magnetic resonance imaging revealed that temporal organization, narrative evaluations patterns, and social attentiveness correlated with atrophy corresponding to known intrinsic connectivity networks, including the default mode, limbic, salience, and stable task control networks. Differences in spontaneous storytelling among neurodegenerative groups elucidated diverse cognitive, socio-emotional, and neural contributions to narrative production, with implications for diagnostic screening and therapeutic intervention. PMID:26485159

  14. miRNAs: Key Players in Neurodegenerative Disorders and Epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Karnati, Hanuma Kumar; Panigrahi, Manas Kumar; Gutti, Ravi Kumar; Greig, Nigel H; Tamargo, Ian A

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous, ∼22 nucleotide, non-coding RNA molecules that function as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. miRNA dysregulation has been observed in cancer and in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and the neurological disorder, epilepsy. Neuronal degradation and death are important hallmarks of neurodegenerative disorders. Additionally, abnormalities in metabolism, synapsis and axonal transport have been associated with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and frontotemporal dementia. A number of recently published studies have demonstrated the importance of miRNAs in the nervous system and have contributed to the growing body of evidence on miRNA dysregulation in neurological disorders. Knowledge of the expressions and activities of such miRNAs may aid in the development of novel therapeutics. In this review, we discuss the significance of miRNA dysregulation in the development of neurodegenerative disorders and the use of miRNAs as targets for therapeutic intervention. PMID:26402105

  15. Multimodality Imaging of Alzheimer Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Dementias

    PubMed Central

    Nasrallah, Ilya M.; Wolk, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, result in cognitive decline and dementia and are a leading cause of mortality in the growing elderly population. These progressive diseases typically have insidious onset, with overlapping clinical features early in disease course that makes diagnosis challenging. Neurodegenerative diseases are associated with characteristic, although not completely understood, changes in the brain: abnormal protein deposition, synaptic dysfunction, neuronal injury and neuronal death. Neuroimaging biomarkers – principally regional atrophy on structural MRI, patterns of hypometabolism on 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET, and detection of cerebral amyloid plaque on amyloid PET – are able to evaluate the patterns of these abnormalities in the brain to assist and improve early diagnosis of these conditions as well as to help predict disease course in the future. There are unique strengths of these techniques as well as synergies in multimodality evaluation of the patient with cognitive decline or dementia. This review will discuss the key imaging biomarkers from MRI, 18F-FDG PET, and amyloid PET, the imaging features of the most common neurodegenerative dementias, the role of various neuroimaging studies in differential diagnosis and prognosis, and introduce some promising imaging techniques currently under development. PMID:25413136

  16. Role of Redox Signaling in Neuroinflammation and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, Hsi-Lung; Yang, Chuen-Mao

    2013-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS), a redox signal, are produced by various enzymatic reactions and chemical processes, which are essential for many physiological functions and act as second messengers. However, accumulating evidence has implicated the pathogenesis of several human diseases including neurodegenerative disorders related to increased oxidative stress. Under pathological conditions, increasing ROS production can regulate the expression of diverse inflammatory mediators during brain injury. Elevated levels of several proinflammatory factors including cytokines, peptides, pathogenic structures, and peroxidants in the central nervous system (CNS) have been detected in patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). These proinflammatory factors act as potent stimuli in brain inflammation through upregulation of diverse inflammatory genes, including matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and adhesion molecules. To date, the intracellular signaling mechanisms underlying the expression of target proteins regulated by these factors are elusive. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms underlying the intracellular signaling pathways, especially ROS, involved in the expression of several inflammatory proteins induced by proinflammatory factors in brain resident cells. Understanding redox signaling transduction mechanisms involved in the expression of target proteins and genes may provide useful therapeutic strategies for brain injury, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24455696

  17. Dysfunctional Mitochondrial Dynamics in the Pathophysiology of Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Haun, Florian; Nakamura, Tomohiro; Lipton, Stuart A

    2013-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction occurs in neurodegenerative diseases, however molecular mechanisms underlying this process remain elusive. Emerging evidence suggests that nitrosative stress, mediated by reactive nitrogen species (RNS), may play a role in mitochondrial pathology. Here, we review findings that highlight the abnormal mitochondrial morphology observed in many neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases. One mechanism whereby RNS can affect mitochondrial function and thus neuronal survival occurs via protein S-nitrosylation, representing chemical reaction of a nitric oxide (NO) group with a critical cysteine thiol. In this review, we focus on the signaling pathway whereby S-nitrosylation of the mitochondrial fission protein Drp1 (dynamin-related protein 1; forming S-nitrosothiol (SNO)-Drp1) precipitates excessive mitochondrial fission or fragmentation and consequent bioenergetic compromise. Subsequently, the formation of SNO-Drp1 leads to synaptic damage and neuronal death. Thus, intervention in the SNO-Drp1 pathway may provide therapeutic benefit in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24587691

  18. Pain in Neurodegenerative Disease: Current Knowledge and Future Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    de Tommaso, Marina; Arendt-Nielsen, Lars; Defrin, Ruth; Kunz, Miriam; Pickering, Gisele; Valeriani, Massimiliano

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are going to increase as the life expectancy is getting longer. The management of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementias, Parkinson's disease (PD) and PD related disorders, motor neuron diseases (MND), Huntington's disease (HD), spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA), and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), is mainly addressed to motor and cognitive impairment, with special care to vital functions as breathing and feeding. Many of these patients complain of painful symptoms though their origin is variable, and their presence is frequently not considered in the treatment guidelines, leaving their management to the decision of the clinicians alone. However, studies focusing on pain frequency in such disorders suggest a high prevalence of pain in selected populations from 38 to 75% in AD, 40% to 86% in PD, and 19 to 85% in MND. The methods of pain assessment vary between studies so the type of pain has been rarely reported. However, a prevalent nonneuropathic origin of pain emerged for MND and PD. In AD, no data on pain features are available. No controlled therapeutic trials and guidelines are currently available. Given the relevance of pain in neurodegenerative disorders, the comprehensive understanding of mechanisms and predisposing factors, the application and validation of specific scales, and new specific therapeutic trials are needed. PMID:27313396

  19. ETHICAL AND GENETIC ASPECTS REGARDING PRESYMPTOMATIC TESTING FOR NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES.

    PubMed

    Cozaru, Georgeta Camelial; Aşchie, Mariana; Mitroi, Anca Florentina; Poinăreanu, I; Gorduza, E V

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's dementia, Huntington's chorea, Parkinson's disease or spinocerebellar ataxia, manifests into adulthood with an insidious onset, slowly of progressive symptoms. All of these diseases are characterized by presimptomatic stages that preceded with many years of clinical debut. In Parkinson's disease, more than half of the dopaminergic neurons of the black substance are lost before the advent of motor characteristic manifestations. In Huntington's chorea, the progressive neurodegenerative disease could be diagnose prenatal and presymptomatic by analyse of the number of CAG repeats in exon 1 of the huntingtin gene. A similar mechanism represented by expansion of trinucleotide repeats during hereditary transmission from parents to children was identified in fragile X syndrome, spinocerebellar ataxia, spinal muscular and bulbar atrophy, or myotonic dystrophy. Presymptomatic diagnosis in all these progressive diseases raise many ethical issues, due to the psychological impact that can cause the prediction of a disease for which there is currently no curative treatment. Therefore, a positive result can produce serious psychological trauma and major changes in the lifestyle of the individual, instead, a negative result can bring joy and tranquillity. But the problem arises if presymptomatic testing in these neurodegenerative diseases brings greater benefits compared to the possible psychological damage, which can add the risk of stigmatization or discrimination. PMID:27125067

  20. Review: Axon pathology in age-related neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Adalbert, R; Coleman, M P

    2013-02-01

    'Dying back' axon degeneration is a prominent feature of many age-related neurodegenerative disorders and is widespread in normal ageing. Although the mechanisms of disease- and age-related losses may differ, both contribute to symptoms. Here, we review recent advances in understanding axon pathology in age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and glaucoma. In particular, we highlight the importance of axonal transport, autophagy, traumatic brain injury and mitochondrial quality control. We then place these disease mechanisms in the context of changes to axons and dendrites that occur during normal ageing. We discuss what makes ageing such an important risk factor for many neurodegenerative disorders and conclude that the processes of normal ageing and disease combine at the molecular, cellular or systems levels in a range of disorders to produce symptoms. Pathology identical to disease also occurs at the cellular level in most elderly individuals. Thus, normal ageing and age-related disease are inextricably linked and the term 'healthy ageing' downplays the important contributions of cellular pathology. For a full understanding of normal ageing or age-related disease we must study both processes. PMID:23046254

  1. Epidemiology of mild traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, Raquel C.; Yaffe, Kristine

    2015-01-01

    Every year an estimated 42 million people worldwide suffer a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) or concussion. More severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a well-established risk factor for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Recently, large epidemiological studies have additionally identified MTBI as a risk factor for dementia. The role of MTBI in risk of PD or ALS is less well established. Repetitive MTBI and repetitive sub-concussive head trauma has been linked to increased risk for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a unique neurodegenerative tauopathy first described in boxers but more recently described in a variety of contact sport athletes, military veterans, and civilians exposed to repetitive MTBI. Studies of repetitive MTBI and CTE have been limited by referral bias, lack of consensus clinical criteria for CTE, challenges of quantifying MTBI exposure, and potential for confounding. The prevalence of CTE is unknown and the amount of MTBI or sub-concussive trauma exposure necessary to produce CTE is unclear. This review will summarize the current literature regarding the epidemiology of MTBI, post-TBI dementia and Parkinson's disease, and CTE while highlighting methodological challenges and critical future directions of research in this field. PMID:25748121

  2. Implications of glial nitric oxide in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Yuste, Jose Enrique; Tarragon, Ernesto; Campuzano, Carmen María; Ros-Bernal, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is a pleiotropic janus-faced molecule synthesized by nitric oxide synthases (NOS) which plays a critical role in a number of physiological and pathological processes in humans. The physiological roles of NO depend on its local concentrations, as well as its availability and the nature of downstream target molecules. Its double-edged sword action has been linked to neurodegenerative disorders. Excessive NO production, as the evoked by inflammatory signals, has been identified as one of the major causative reasons for the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, excessive NO synthesis under neuroinflammation leads to the formation of reactive nitrogen species and neuronal cell death. There is an intimate relation between microglial activation, NO and neuroinflammation in the human brain. The role of NO in neuroinflammation has been defined in animal models where this neurotransmitter can modulate the inflammatory process acting on key regulatory pathways, such as those associated with excitotoxicity processes induced by glutamate accumulation and microglial activation. Activated glia express inducible NOS and produce NO that triggers calcium mobilization from the endoplasmic reticulum, activating the release of vesicular glutamate from astroglial cells resulting in neuronal death. This change in microglia potentially contributes to the increased age-associated susceptibility and neurodegeneration. In the current review, information is provided about the role of NO, glial activation and age-related processes in the central nervous system (CNS) that may be helpful in the isolation of new therapeutic targets for aging and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26347610

  3. Potential application of lithium in Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lazzara, Carol A.; Kim, Yong-Hwan

    2015-01-01

    Lithium, the long-standing hallmark treatment for bipolar disorder, has recently been identified as a potential neuroprotective agent in neurodegeneration. Here we focus on introducing numerous in vitro and in vivo studies that have shown lithium treatment to be efficacious in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, increasing autophagy, inhibiting apoptosis, and decreasing the accumulation of α-synulcein, with an emphasis on Parkinson's disease. A number of biological pathways have been shown to be involved in causing these neuroprotective effects. The inhibition of GSK-3β has been the mechanism most studied; however, other modes of action include the regulation of apoptotic proteins and glutamate excitotoxicity as well as down-regulation of calpain. This review provides a framework of the neuroprotective effects of lithium in neurodegenerative diseases and the putative mechanisms by which lithium provides the protection. Lithium-only treatment may not be a suitable therapeutic option for neurodegenerative diseases due to inconsistent efficacy and potential side-effects, however, the use of low dose lithium in combination with other potential or existing therapeutic compounds may be a promising approach to reduce symptoms and disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26578864

  4. Multisensory feedback in advanced teleoperations: benefits of auditory cues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apostolos, Margo K.; Zak, Haya; Das, Hari; Schenker, Paul S.

    1992-11-01

    This paper describes work conducted at the JPL Advanced Teleoperation Laboratory in an experiment that demonstrated the value of auditory cues in teleoperation as part of a simulated Solar Maximum Satellite Repair (SMSR). An experiment was designed to examine a specific teleoperation task of unbolting an electrical connector screw based on the apparent significance of auditory signals. Visual and kinesthetic feedback have usually been the primary modes for cueing operator manual control actions in remote manipulation tasks; however, auditory information may have further beneficial effects on operator performance. In addition to the visual cues available from a pair of stereoscopic cameras and contact force feedback cues from the operator's manual hand controller, we gave the operator an amplified microphonic task presentation. In general, sounds within the robot workspace are not heard in the operator control room. Such auditory cues had not been used in the Advanced Teleoperation Laboratory (ATOP) prior to this experiment. Six subjects participated in the experiment which examined the performance benefits of vision, force, and sound feedback. Our data infers that audio cues can make a significant difference in task completion time.

  5. Cockroach homologs of praying mantis peripheral auditory system components.

    PubMed

    Yager, David D

    2005-07-01

    This study identifies the cuticular metathoracic structures in earless cockroaches that are the homologs to the peripheral auditory components in their sister taxon, praying mantids, and defines the nature of the cuticular transition from earless to eared in the Dictyoptera. The single, midline ear of mantids comprises an auditory chamber with complex walls that contain the tympana and chordotonal transduction elements. The corresponding area in cockroaches, between the furcasternum and coxae, has many socketed hairs arranged in discrete fields and the Nerve 7 chordotonal organ, the homolog of the mantis tympanal organ. The Nerve 7 chordotonal organ attaches at the apex of the lateral ventropleurite (LVp), which has the same shape and general structure as an auditory chamber wall. High-speed video shows that when the coxa moves toward the midline, the LVp rotates medially to stimulate socketed hairs, and also moves like a triangular hinge giving the chordotonal organ maximal in-out stimulation. Formation of the mantis auditory chamber from the LVp and adjacent structures would involve only enlargement, a shift toward the midline, and a mild rotation. Almost all proprioceptive function would be lost, which may constitute the major cost of building and maintaining the mantis ear. Isolation from leg movement dictates the position of the mantis ear in the midline and the rigid frame, formed by the cuticular knobs, which protects the chordotonal organs. PMID:15887266

  6. Conceptual priming for realistic auditory scenes and for auditory words.

    PubMed

    Frey, Aline; Aramaki, Mitsuko; Besson, Mireille

    2014-02-01

    Two experiments were conducted using both behavioral and Event-Related brain Potentials methods to examine conceptual priming effects for realistic auditory scenes and for auditory words. Prime and target sounds were presented in four stimulus combinations: Sound-Sound, Word-Sound, Sound-Word and Word-Word. Within each combination, targets were conceptually related to the prime, unrelated or ambiguous. In Experiment 1, participants were asked to judge whether the primes and targets fit together (explicit task) and in Experiment 2 they had to decide whether the target was typical or ambiguous (implicit task). In both experiments and in the four stimulus combinations, reaction times and/or error rates were longer/higher and the N400 component was larger to ambiguous targets than to conceptually related targets, thereby pointing to a common conceptual system for processing auditory scenes and linguistic stimuli in both explicit and implicit tasks. However, fine-grained analyses also revealed some differences between experiments and conditions in scalp topography and duration of the priming effects possibly reflecting differences in the integration of perceptual and cognitive attributes of linguistic and nonlinguistic sounds. These results have clear implications for the building-up of virtual environments that need to convey meaning without words. PMID:24378910

  7. Auditory spatial processing in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Golden, Hannah L; Nicholas, Jennifer M; Yong, Keir X X; Downey, Laura E; Schott, Jonathan M; Mummery, Catherine J; Crutch, Sebastian J; Warren, Jason D

    2015-01-01

    The location and motion of sounds in space are important cues for encoding the auditory world. Spatial processing is a core component of auditory scene analysis, a cognitively demanding function that is vulnerable in Alzheimer's disease. Here we designed a novel neuropsychological battery based on a virtual space paradigm to assess auditory spatial processing in patient cohorts with clinically typical Alzheimer's disease (n = 20) and its major variant syndrome, posterior cortical atrophy (n = 12) in relation to healthy older controls (n = 26). We assessed three dimensions of auditory spatial function: externalized versus non-externalized sound discrimination, moving versus stationary sound discrimination and stationary auditory spatial position discrimination, together with non-spatial auditory and visual spatial control tasks. Neuroanatomical correlates of auditory spatial processing were assessed using voxel-based morphometry. Relative to healthy older controls, both patient groups exhibited impairments in detection of auditory motion, and stationary sound position discrimination. The posterior cortical atrophy group showed greater impairment for auditory motion processing and the processing of a non-spatial control complex auditory property (timbre) than the typical Alzheimer's disease group. Voxel-based morphometry in the patient cohort revealed grey matter correlates of auditory motion detection and spatial position discrimination in right inferior parietal cortex and precuneus, respectively. These findings delineate auditory spatial processing deficits in typical and posterior Alzheimer's disease phenotypes that are related to posterior cortical regions involved in both syndromic variants and modulated by the syndromic profile of brain degeneration. Auditory spatial deficits contribute to impaired spatial awareness in Alzheimer's disease and may constitute a novel perceptual model for probing brain network disintegration across the Alzheimer's disease

  8. Stream segregation in the anesthetized auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Scholes, Chris; Palmer, Alan R; Sumner, Christian J

    2015-10-01

    Auditory stream segregation describes the way that sounds are perceptually segregated into groups or streams on the basis of perceptual attributes such as pitch or spectral content. For sequences of pure tones, segregation depends on the tones' proximity in frequency and time. In the auditory cortex (and elsewhere) responses to sequences of tones are dependent on stimulus conditions in a similar way to the perception of these stimuli. However, although highly dependent on stimulus conditions, perception is also clearly influenced by factors unrelated to the stimulus, such as attention. Exactly how 'bottom-up' sensory processes and non-sensory 'top-down' influences interact is still not clear. Here, we recorded responses to alternating tones (ABAB …) of varying frequency difference (FD) and rate of presentation (PR) in the auditory cortex of anesthetized guinea-pigs. These data complement previous studies, in that top-down processing resulting from conscious perception should be absent or at least considerably attenuated. Under anesthesia, the responses of cortical neurons to the tone sequences adapted rapidly, in a manner sensitive to both the FD and PR of the sequences. While the responses to tones at frequencies more distant from neuron best frequencies (BFs) decreased as the FD increased, the responses to tones near to BF increased, consistent with a release from adaptation, or forward suppression. Increases in PR resulted in reductions in responses to all tones, but the reduction was greater for tones further from BF. Although asymptotically adapted responses to tones showed behavior that was qualitatively consistent with perceptual stream segregation, responses reached asymptote within 2 s, and responses to all tones were very weak at high PRs (>12 tones per second). A signal-detection model, driven by the cortical population response, made decisions that were dependent on both FD and PR in ways consistent with perceptual stream segregation. This

  9. Stream segregation in the anesthetized auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Scholes, Chris; Palmer, Alan R.; Sumner, Christian J.

    2015-01-01

    Auditory stream segregation describes the way that sounds are perceptually segregated into groups or streams on the basis of perceptual attributes such as pitch or spectral content. For sequences of pure tones, segregation depends on the tones' proximity in frequency and time. In the auditory cortex (and elsewhere) responses to sequences of tones are dependent on stimulus conditions in a similar way to the perception of these stimuli. However, although highly dependent on stimulus conditions, perception is also clearly influenced by factors unrelated to the stimulus, such as attention. Exactly how ‘bottom-up’ sensory processes and non-sensory ‘top-down’ influences interact is still not clear. Here, we recorded responses to alternating tones (ABAB …) of varying frequency difference (FD) and rate of presentation (PR) in the auditory cortex of anesthetized guinea-pigs. These data complement previous studies, in that top-down processing resulting from conscious perception should be absent or at least considerably attenuated. Under anesthesia, the responses of cortical neurons to the tone sequences adapted rapidly, in a manner sensitive to both the FD and PR of the sequences. While the responses to tones at frequencies more distant from neuron best frequencies (BFs) decreased as the FD increased, the responses to tones near to BF increased, consistent with a release from adaptation, or forward suppression. Increases in PR resulted in reductions in responses to all tones, but the reduction was greater for tones further from BF. Although asymptotically adapted responses to tones showed behavior that was qualitatively consistent with perceptual stream segregation, responses reached asymptote within 2 s, and responses to all tones were very weak at high PRs (>12 tones per second). A signal-detection model, driven by the cortical population response, made decisions that were dependent on both FD and PR in ways consistent with perceptual stream segregation. This

  10. On the externalization of auditory images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Durlach, N. I.; Rigopulos, A.; Pang, X. D.; Woods, W. S.; Kulkarni, A.; Colburn, H. S.; Wenzel, E. M.

    1992-01-01

    An acoustic image is said to be 'externalized' if the sound source appears to the listener to lie outside the head. The purpose of the note is to put the phenomenon of externalization of auditory images in proper perspective. It points out that the listener's pinnae (the so-called 'pinna factor') is only one of many factors that determine the extent to which a sound image is externalized and that the relative importance of these factors is not yet clear. The note begins with some general comments on externalization. It then considers the effect of reverberation. It examines head movements, visual effects, and other factors. It concludes with remarks on externalization's relation to head-related transfer functions (HRTFs), the pinna factor, and improved experimental instrumentation.

  11. Asymmetry in primary auditory cortex activity in tinnitus patients and controls.

    PubMed

    Geven, L I; de Kleine, E; Willemsen, A T M; van Dijk, P

    2014-01-01

    Tinnitus is a bothersome phantom sound percept and its neural correlates are not yet disentangled. Previously published papers, using [(18)F]-fluoro-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), have suggested an increased metabolism in the left primary auditory cortex in tinnitus patients. This unilateral hyperactivity has been used as a target in localized treatments such as transcranial magnetic stimulation. The purpose of the current study was to test whether left-sided hyperactivity in the auditory cortex is specific to tinnitus or is a general characteristic of the auditory system unrelated to tinnitus. Therefore, FDG-PET was used to measure brain metabolism in 20 tinnitus patients and to compare their results to those in 19 control subjects without tinnitus. In contrast to our expectation, there was no hyperactivity associated with tinnitus. Nevertheless, the activity in the left primary auditory cortex was higher than in the right primary auditory cortex, but this asymmetry was present in both tinnitus patients and control subjects. In contrast, the lateralization in secondary auditory cortex was opposite, with higher activation in the right hemisphere. These data show that hemisphere asymmetries in the metabolic resting activity of the auditory cortex are present, but these are not associated with tinnitus and are a normal characteristic of the normal brain. PMID:24161276

  12. The effect of precision and power grips on activations in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Wikman, Patrik A; Vainio, Lari; Rinne, Teemu

    2015-01-01

    The neuroanatomical pathways interconnecting auditory and motor cortices play a key role in current models of human auditory cortex (AC). Evidently, auditory-motor interaction is important in speech and music production, but the significance of these cortical pathways in other auditory processing is not well known. We investigated the general effects of motor responding on AC activations to sounds during auditory and visual tasks (motor regions were not imaged). During all task blocks, subjects detected targets in the designated modality, reported the relative number of targets at the end of the block, and ignored the stimuli presented in the opposite modality. In each block, they were also instructed to respond to targets either using a precision grip, power grip, or to give no overt target responses. We found that motor responding strongly modulated AC activations. First, during both visual and auditory tasks, activations in widespread regions of AC decreased when subjects made precision and power grip responses to targets. Second, activations in AC were modulated by grip type during the auditory but not during the visual task. Further, the motor effects were distinct from the present strong attention-related modulations in AC. These results are consistent with the idea that operations in AC are shaped by its connections with motor cortical regions. PMID:26528121

  13. The effect of precision and power grips on activations in human auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Wikman, Patrik A.; Vainio, Lari; Rinne, Teemu

    2015-01-01

    The neuroanatomical pathways interconnecting auditory and motor cortices play a key role in current models of human auditory cortex (AC). Evidently, auditory-motor interaction is important in speech and music production, but the significance of these cortical pathways in other auditory processing is not well known. We investigated the general effects of motor responding on AC activations to sounds during auditory and visual tasks (motor regions were not imaged). During all task blocks, subjects detected targets in the designated modality, reported the relative number of targets at the end of the block, and ignored the stimuli presented in the opposite modality. In each block, they were also instructed to respond to targets either using a precision grip, power grip, or to give no overt target responses. We found that motor responding strongly modulated AC activations. First, during both visual and auditory tasks, activations in widespread regions of AC decreased when subjects made precision and power grip responses to targets. Second, activations in AC were modulated by grip type during the auditory but not during the visual task. Further, the motor effects were distinct from the present strong attention-related modulations in AC. These results are consistent with the idea that operations in AC are shaped by its connections with motor cortical regions. PMID:26528121

  14. Psychophysiological responses to auditory change.

    PubMed

    Chuen, Lorraine; Sears, David; McAdams, Stephen

    2016-06-01

    A comprehensive characterization of autonomic and somatic responding within the auditory domain is currently lacking. We studied whether simple types of auditory change that occur frequently during music listening could elicit measurable changes in heart rate, skin conductance, respiration rate, and facial motor activity. Participants heard a rhythmically isochronous sequence consisting of a repeated standard tone, followed by a repeated target tone that changed in pitch, timbre, duration, intensity, or tempo, or that deviated momentarily from rhythmic isochrony. Changes in all parameters produced increases in heart rate. Skin conductance response magnitude was affected by changes in timbre, intensity, and tempo. Respiratory rate was sensitive to deviations from isochrony. Our findings suggest that music researchers interpreting physiological responses as emotional indices should consider acoustic factors that may influence physiology in the absence of induced emotions. PMID:26927928

  15. Adaptation to delayed auditory feedback

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Katz, D. I.; Lackner, J. R.

    1977-01-01

    Delayed auditory feedback disrupts the production of speech, causing an increase in speech duration as well as many articulatory errors. To determine whether prolonged exposure to delayed auditory feedback (DAF) leads to adaptive compensations in speech production, 10 subjects were exposed in separate experimental sessions to both incremental and constant-delay exposure conditions. Significant adaptation occurred for syntactically structured stimuli in the form of increased speaking rates. After DAF was removed, aftereffects were apparent for all stimulus types in terms of increased speech rates. A carry-over effect from the first to the second experimental session was evident as long as 29 days after the first session. The use of strategies to overcome DAF and the differences between adaptation to DAF and adaptation to visual rearrangement are discussed.

  16. The human auditory evoked response

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galambos, R.

    1974-01-01

    Figures are presented of computer-averaged auditory evoked responses (AERs) that point to the existence of a completely endogenous brain event. A series of regular clicks or tones was administered to the ear, and 'odd-balls' of different intensity or frequency respectively were included. Subjects were asked either to ignore the sounds (to read or do something else) or to attend to the stimuli. When they listened and counted the odd-balls, a P3 wave occurred at 300msec after stimulus. When the odd-balls consisted of omitted clicks or tone bursts, a similar response was observed. This could not have come from auditory nerve, but only from cortex. It is evidence of recognition, a conscious process.

  17. Reality of auditory verbal hallucinations

    PubMed Central

    Valkonen-Korhonen, Minna; Holi, Matti; Therman, Sebastian; Lehtonen, Johannes; Hari, Riitta

    2009-01-01

    Distortion of the sense of reality, actualized in delusions and hallucinations, is the key feature of psychosis but the underlying neuronal correlates remain largely unknown. We studied 11 highly functioning subjects with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder while they rated the reality of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The subjective reality of AVH correlated strongly and specifically with the hallucination-related activation strength of the inferior frontal gyri (IFG), including the Broca's language region. Furthermore, how real the hallucination that subjects experienced was depended on the hallucination-related coupling between the IFG, the ventral striatum, the auditory cortex, the right posterior temporal lobe, and the cingulate cortex. Our findings suggest that the subjective reality of AVH is related to motor mechanisms of speech comprehension, with contributions from sensory and salience-detection-related brain regions as well as circuitries related to self-monitoring and the experience of agency. PMID:19620178

  18. Sensitivity to Auditory Velocity Contrast.

    PubMed

    Locke, Shannon M; Leung, Johahn; Carlile, Simon

    2016-01-01

    A natural auditory scene often contains sound moving at varying velocities. Using a velocity contrast paradigm, we compared sensitivity to velocity changes between continuous and discontinuous trajectories. Subjects compared the velocities of two stimulus intervals that moved along a single trajectory, with and without a 1 second inter stimulus interval (ISI). We found thresholds were threefold larger for velocity increases in the instantaneous velocity change condition, as compared to instantaneous velocity decreases or thresholds for the delayed velocity transition condition. This result cannot be explained by the current static "snapshot" model of auditory motion perception and suggest a continuous process where the percept of velocity is influenced by previous history of stimulation. PMID:27291488

  19. Sensitivity to Auditory Velocity Contrast

    PubMed Central

    Locke, Shannon M.; Leung, Johahn; Carlile, Simon

    2016-01-01

    A natural auditory scene often contains sound moving at varying velocities. Using a velocity contrast paradigm, we compared sensitivity to velocity changes between continuous and discontinuous trajectories. Subjects compared the velocities of two stimulus intervals that moved along a single trajectory, with and without a 1 second inter stimulus interval (ISI). We found thresholds were threefold larger for velocity increases in the instantaneous velocity change condition, as compared to instantaneous velocity decreases or thresholds for the delayed velocity transition condition. This result cannot be explained by the current static “snapshot” model of auditory motion perception and suggest a continuous process where the percept of velocity is influenced by previous history of stimulation. PMID:27291488

  20. Demodulation processes in auditory perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feth, Lawrence L.

    1994-08-01

    The long range goal of this project is the understanding of human auditory processing of information conveyed by complex, time-varying signals such as speech, music or important environmental sounds. Our work is guided by the assumption that human auditory communication is a 'modulation - demodulation' process. That is, we assume that sound sources produce a complex stream of sound pressure waves with information encoded as variations ( modulations) of the signal amplitude and frequency. The listeners task then is one of demodulation. Much of past. psychoacoustics work has been based in what we characterize as 'spectrum picture processing.' Complex sounds are Fourier analyzed to produce an amplitude-by-frequency 'picture' and the perception process is modeled as if the listener were analyzing the spectral picture. This approach leads to studies such as 'profile analysis' and the power-spectrum model of masking. Our approach leads us to investigate time-varying, complex sounds. We refer to them as dynamic signals and we have developed auditory signal processing models to help guide our experimental work.

  1. Auditory learning: a developmental method.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yilu; Weng, Juyang; Hwang, Wey-Shiuan

    2005-05-01

    Motivated by the human autonomous development process from infancy to adulthood, we have built a robot that develops its cognitive and behavioral skills through real-time interactions with the environment. We call such a robot a developmental robot. In this paper, we present the theory and the architecture to implement a developmental robot and discuss the related techniques that address an array of challenging technical issues. As an application, experimental results on a real robot, self-organizing, autonomous, incremental learner (SAIL), are presented with emphasis on its audition perception and audition-related action generation. In particular, the SAIL robot conducts the auditory learning from unsegmented and unlabeled speech streams without any prior knowledge about the auditory signals, such as the designated language or the phoneme models. Neither available before learning starts are the actions that the robot is expected to perform. SAIL learns the auditory commands and the desired actions from physical contacts with the environment including the trainers. PMID:15940990

  2. Behavioral Dependence of Auditory Cortical Responses

    PubMed Central

    Osmanski, Michael S.; Wang, Xiaoqin

    2015-01-01

    Neural responses in the auditory cortex have historically been measured from either anesthetized or awake but non-behaving animals. A growing body of work has begun to focus instead on recording from auditory cortex of animals actively engaged in behavior tasks. These studies have shown that auditory cortical responses are dependent upon the behavioral state of the animal. The longer ascending subcortical pathway of the auditory system and unique characteristics of auditory processing suggest that such dependencies may have a more profound influence on cortical processing in auditory system compared to other sensory systems. It is important to understand the nature of these dependencies and their functional implications. In this article, we review the literature on this topic pertaining to cortical processing of sounds. PMID:25690831

  3. [Auditory evoked potentials: basics and clinical applications].

    PubMed

    Radeloff, A; Cebulla, M; Shehata-Dieler, W

    2014-09-01

    Auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) are elicited at various levels of the auditory system following acoustic stimulation. Electrocochleography is a technique for recording AEPs of the inner ear. The recording is performed by means of a needle electrode placed on the promontory or non-invasive with tympanic membrane or ear canal electrodes. Clinically, electrocochleography is used for the diagnosis of auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) and endolymphatic hydrops. According to their latencies, AEPs of the central auditory pathway are subdivided into early, middle and late (cortical) AEPs. These AEPs are recorded via surface scalp electrodes. Normally, the larger EEG masks AEPs. For unmasking the AEP, several techniques are applied. Early AEPs or auditory brainstem responses (ABR) are the most widely used AEPs for functional evaluation of the auditory pathway. In contrast to otoacoustic emissions, early AEPs can detect ANSD. Thus, they are more suitable for hearing screening in newborns. For this purpose automated procedures are implemented. PMID:25152975

  4. Phonological Processing in Human Auditory Cortical Fields

    PubMed Central

    Woods, David L.; Herron, Timothy J.; Cate, Anthony D.; Kang, Xiaojian; Yund, E. W.

    2011-01-01

    We used population-based cortical-surface analysis of functional magnetic imaging data to characterize the processing of consonant–vowel–consonant syllables (CVCs) and spectrally matched amplitude-modulated noise bursts (AMNBs) in human auditory cortex as subjects attended to auditory or visual stimuli in an intermodal selective attention paradigm. Average auditory cortical field (ACF) locations were defined using tonotopic mapping in a previous study. Activations in auditory cortex were defined by two stimulus-preference gradients: (1) Medial belt ACFs preferred AMNBs and lateral belt and parabelt fields preferred CVCs. This preference extended into core ACFs with medial regions of primary auditory cortex (A1) and the rostral field preferring AMNBs and lateral regions preferring CVCs. (2) Anterior ACFs showed smaller activations but more clearly defined stimulus preferences than did posterior ACFs. Stimulus preference gradients were unaffected by auditory attention suggesting that ACF preferences reflect the automatic processing of different spectrotemporal sound features. PMID:21541252

  5. Review of auditory subliminal psychodynamic activation experiments.

    PubMed

    Fudin, R; Benjamin, C

    1991-12-01

    Subliminal psychodynamic activation experiments using auditory stimuli have yielded only a modicum of support for the contention that such activation produces predictable behavioral changes. Problems in many auditory subliminal psychodynamic activation experiments indicate that those predictions have not been tested adequately. The auditory mode of presentation, however, has several methodological advantages over the visual one, the method used in the vast majority of subliminal psychodynamic activation experiments. Consequently, it should be considered in subsequent research in this area. PMID:1805167

  6. Auditory hallucination coping techniques and their relationship to psychotic symptomatology.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Naoki; Igarashi, Yoshito; Suda, Kiyoko; Nakagawa, Seishu

    2007-12-01

    Use of coping techniques is of importance in the treatment for patients experiencing auditory hallucinations. Phenomenological features of auditory hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms are assumed to be factors influencing the coping activities. The aim of the present study was to determine psychotic symptoms including auditory hallucination phenomenological features that have effects on coping activities. The authors investigated 17 generally used coping techniques of 144 chronically psychotic patients who were currently experiencing auditory hallucination in DSM-IV schizophrenia or schizoaffective psychosis. Using factor analysis, scales characterizing the styles of coping application and efficacy were constructed. To assess the phenomenological features, the authors used the Matsuzawa Assessment Schedule for Auditory Hallucination (MASAH), which had been devised to assess four basic phenomenological features: intractability, delusion, influence, and externality. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) was also applied for the assessment of psychotic symptoms. Regression analyses were conducted to determine the features and symptoms that could have effects on coping activities. Constructed scales were those of distraction and counteraction styles for each of coping application and efficacy. It was found that MASAH influence and externality features had an activating effect on both distraction and counteraction coping application, and counteraction coping application, respectively, and that PANSS negative symptom clusters and MASAH delusion feature had an inhibiting effect on distraction and counteraction coping application, respectively. No salient factor for coping efficacy was recognized. The current study presents information on the relationship between coping activities and the psychotic experience features and symptoms, which can be of help for planning coping training programs. PMID:18081625

  7. Biases in Visual, Auditory, and Audiovisual Perception of Space

    PubMed Central

    Odegaard, Brian; Wozny, David R.; Shams, Ladan

    2015-01-01

    Localization of objects and events in the environment is critical for survival, as many perceptual and motor tasks rely on estimation of spatial location. Therefore, it seems reasonable to assume that spatial localizations should generally be accurate. Curiously, some previous studies have reported biases in visual and auditory localizations, but these studies have used small sample sizes and the results have been mixed. Therefore, it is not clear (1) if the reported biases in localization responses are real (or due to outliers, sampling bias, or other factors), and (2) whether these putative biases reflect a bias in sensory representations of space or a priori expectations (which may be due to the experimental setup, instructions, or distribution of stimuli). Here, to address these questions, a dataset of unprecedented size (obtained from 384 observers) was analyzed to examine presence, direction, and magnitude of sensory biases, and quantitative computational modeling was used to probe the underlying mechanism(s) driving these effects. Data revealed that, on average, observers were biased towards the center when localizing visual stimuli, and biased towards the periphery when localizing auditory stimuli. Moreover, quantitative analysis using a Bayesian Causal Inference framework suggests that while pre-existing spatial biases for central locations exert some influence, biases in the sensory representations of both visual and auditory space are necessary to fully explain the behavioral data. How are these opposing visual and auditory biases reconciled in conditions in which both auditory and visual stimuli are produced by a single event? Potentially, the bias in one modality could dominate, or the biases could interact/cancel out. The data revealed that when integration occurred in these conditions, the visual bias dominated, but the magnitude of this bias was reduced compared to unisensory conditions. Therefore, multisensory integration not only improves the

  8. Auditory, Visual, and Auditory-Visual Perception of Vowels by Hearing-Impaired Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hack, Zarita Caplan; Erber, Norman P.

    1982-01-01

    Vowels were presented through auditory, visual, and auditory-visual modalities to 18 hearing impaired children (12 to 15 years old) having good, intermediate, and poor auditory word recognition skills. All the groups had difficulty with acoustic information and visual information alone. The first two groups had only moderate difficulty identifying…

  9. The Effects of Auditory Stimulation on Auditory Processing Disorder: A Summary of the Findings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross-Swain, Deborah

    2007-01-01

    The study's purpose is to determine the efficacy of the Tomatis Method of auditory stimulation as a therapeutic intervention for Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). Forty-one subjects (18 females, 23 males; 4.3-19.8 years old) were evaluated for APD. Performance on standardized tests indicated weaknesses with auditory processing skills. Each…

  10. Effects of Methylphenidate (Ritalin) on Auditory Performance in Children with Attention and Auditory Processing Disorders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tillery, Kim L.; Katz, Jack; Keller, Warren D.

    2000-01-01

    A double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined effects of methylphenidate (Ritalin) on auditory processing in 32 children with both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and central auditory processing (CAP) disorder. Analyses revealed that Ritalin did not have a significant effect on any of the central auditory processing measures, although…

  11. Corticofugal modulation of peripheral auditory responses

    PubMed Central

    Terreros, Gonzalo; Delano, Paul H.

    2015-01-01

    The auditory efferent system originates in the auditory cortex and projects to the medial geniculate body (MGB), inferior colliculus (IC), cochlear nucleus (CN) and superior olivary complex (SOC) reaching the cochlea through olivocochlear (OC) fibers. This unique neuronal network is organized in several afferent-efferent feedback loops including: the (i) colliculo-thalamic-cortico-collicular; (ii) cortico-(collicular)-OC; and (iii) cortico-(collicular)-CN pathways. Recent experiments demonstrate that blocking ongoing auditory-cortex activity with pharmacological and physical methods modulates the amplitude of cochlear potentials. In addition, auditory-cortex microstimulation independently modulates cochlear sensitivity and the strength of the OC reflex. In this mini-review, anatomical and physiological evidence supporting the presence of a functional efferent network from the auditory cortex to the cochlear receptor is presented. Special emphasis is given to the corticofugal effects on initial auditory processing, that is, on CN, auditory nerve and cochlear responses. A working model of three parallel pathways from the auditory cortex to the cochlea and auditory nerve is proposed. PMID:26483647

  12. Bat's auditory system: Corticofugal feedback and plasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suga, Nobuo

    2001-05-01

    The auditory system of the mustached bat consists of physiologically distinct subdivisions for processing different types of biosonar information. It was found that the corticofugal (descending) auditory system plays an important role in improving and adjusting auditory signal processing. Repetitive acoustic stimulation, cortical electrical stimulation or auditory fear conditioning evokes plastic changes of the central auditory system. The changes are based upon egocentric selection evoked by focused positive feedback associated with lateral inhibition. Focal electric stimulation of the auditory cortex evokes short-term changes in the auditory cortex and subcortical auditory nuclei. An increase in a cortical acetylcholine level during the electric stimulation changes the cortical changes from short-term to long-term. There are two types of plastic changes (reorganizations): centripetal best frequency shifts for expanded reorganization of a neural frequency map and centrifugal best frequency shifts for compressed reorganization of the map. Which changes occur depends on the balance between inhibition and facilitation. Expanded reorganization has been found in different sensory systems and different species of mammals, whereas compressed reorganization has been thus far found only in the auditory subsystems highly specialized for echolocation. The two types of reorganizations occur in both the frequency and time domains. [Work supported by NIDCO DC00175.

  13. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy pathology in a neurodegenerative disorders brain bank.

    PubMed

    Bieniek, Kevin F; Ross, Owen A; Cormier, Kerry A; Walton, Ronald L; Soto-Ortolaza, Alexandra; Johnston, Amelia E; DeSaro, Pamela; Boylan, Kevin B; Graff-Radford, Neill R; Wszolek, Zbigniew K; Rademakers, Rosa; Boeve, Bradley F; McKee, Ann C; Dickson, Dennis W

    2015-12-01

    Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder linked to repetitive traumatic brain injury (TBI) and characterized by deposition of hyperphosphorylated tau at the depths of sulci. We sought to determine the presence of CTE pathology in a brain bank for neurodegenerative disorders for individuals with and without a history of contact sports participation. Available medical records of 1721 men were reviewed for evidence of past history of injury or participation in contact sports. Subsequently, cerebral cortical samples were processed for tau immunohistochemistry in cases with a documented history of sports exposure as well as age- and disease-matched men and women without such exposure. For cases with available frozen tissue, genetic analysis was performed for variants in APOE, MAPT, and TMEM106B. Immunohistochemistry revealed 21 of 66 former athletes had cortical tau pathology consistent with CTE. CTE pathology was not detected in 198 individuals without exposure to contact sports, including 33 individuals with documented single-incident TBI sustained from falls, motor vehicle accidents, domestic violence, or assaults. Among those exposed to contact sports, those with CTE pathology did not differ from those without CTE pathology with respect to noted clinicopathologic features. There were no significant differences in genetic variants for those with CTE pathology, but we observed a slight increase in MAPT H1 haplotype, and there tended to be fewer homozygous carriers of the protective TMEM106B rs3173615 minor allele in those with sports exposure and CTE pathology compared to those without CTE pathology. In conclusion, this study has identified a small, yet significant, subset of individuals with neurodegenerative disorders and concomitant CTE pathology. CTE pathology was only detected in individuals with documented participation in contact sports. Exposure to contact sports was the greatest risk factor for CTE pathology. Future

  14. How Does Auditory Training Work? Joined-Up Thinking and Listening.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Melanie; Henshaw, Helen

    2015-11-01

    Auditory training aims to compensate for degradation in the auditory signal and is offered as an intervention to help alleviate the most common complaint in people with hearing loss, understanding speech in a background noise. Yet there remain many unanswered questions. This article reviews some of the key pieces of evidence that assess the evidence for whether, and how, auditory training benefits adults with hearing loss. The evidence supports that improvements occur on the trained task; however, transfer of that learning to generalized real-world benefit is much less robust. For more than a decade, there has been an increasing awareness of the role that cognition plays in listening. But more recently in the auditory training literature, there has been an increased focus on assessing how cognitive performance relevant for listening may improve with training. We argue that this is specifically the case for measures that index executive processes, such as monitoring, attention switching, and updating of working memory, all of which are required for successful listening and communication in challenging or adverse listening conditions. We propose combined auditory-cognitive training approaches, where training interventions develop cognition embedded within auditory tasks, which are most likely to offer generalized benefits to the real-world listening abilities of people with hearing loss. PMID:27587911

  15. The Essential Tremors: A Family of Neurodegenerative Disorders?

    PubMed Central

    Louis, Elan D.

    2009-01-01

    Essential tremor (ET) is the most common pathological tremor in humans. The traditional view of ET, as a mono-symptomatic condition, is being replaced by an appreciation of the spectrum of clinical features, with both motor and non-motor elements. These features are not distributed homogeneously across patients. In addition, post-mortem studies are now demonstrating distinct structural changes in ET. There is growing evidence that ET may be a family of diseases rather than a single entity. Further, this aging-associated, progressive disorder is associated with neuronal loss and postmortem changes that occur in traditional neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:19822775

  16. Redox Processes in Neurodegenerative Disease Involving Reactive Oxygen Species

    PubMed Central

    Kovacic, Peter; Somanathan, Ratnasamy

    2012-01-01

    Much attention has been devoted to neurodegenerative diseases involving redox processes. This review comprises an update involving redox processes reported in the considerable literature in recent years. The mechanism involves reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress, usually in the brain. There are many examples including Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, prions, Down’s syndrome, ataxia, multiple sclerosis, Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, schizophrenia, and Tardive Dyskinesia. Evidence indicates a protective role for antioxidants, which may have clinical implications. A multifaceted approach to mode of action appears reasonable. PMID:23730253

  17. Stem cells for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Stem cells offer an enormous pool of resources for the understanding of the human body. One proposed use of stem cells has been as an autologous therapy. The use of stem cells for neurodegenerative diseases has become of interest. Clinical applications of stem cells for Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis will increase in the coming years, and although great care will need to be taken when moving forward with prospective treatments, the application of stem cells is highly promising. PMID:21144012

  18. Corruption and Spread of Pathogenic Proteins in Neurodegenerative Diseases*

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Lary C.; LeVine, Harry

    2012-01-01

    With advancing age, the brain becomes increasingly susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases, most of which are characterized by the misfolding and errant aggregation of certain proteins. The induction of aggregation involves a crystallization-like seeding mechanism by which a specific protein is structurally corrupted by its misfolded conformer. The latest research indicates that, once formed, proteopathic seeds can spread from one locale to another via cellular uptake, transport, and release. Impeding this process could represent a unified therapeutic strategy for slowing the progression of a wide range of currently intractable disorders. PMID:22879600

  19. Dysphagia in stroke, neurodegenerative disease, and advanced dementia.

    PubMed

    Altman, Kenneth W; Richards, Amanda; Goldberg, Leanne; Frucht, Steven; McCabe, Daniel J

    2013-12-01

    Aspiration risk from dysphagia increases with central and peripheral neurologic disease. Stroke, microvascular ischemic disease, a spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases, and advancing dementia all have unique aspects. However, there are distinct commonalities in this population. Increasing nutritional requirements to stave off oropharyngeal muscular atrophy and a sedentary lifestyle further tax the patient's abilities to safely swallow. This article reviews stroke, muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and advanced dementia. Approaches to screening and evaluation, recognizing sentinel indicators of decline that increase aspiration risk, and options for managing global laryngeal dysfunction are also presented. PMID:24262965

  20. Effects of Emotionally Charged Auditory Stimulation on Gait Performance in the Elderly: A Preliminary Study

    PubMed Central

    Rizzo, John-Ross; Raghavan, Preeti; McCrery, J.R.; Oh-Park, Mooyeon; Verghese, Joe

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To evaluate the effect of a novel divided attention task—walking under auditory constraints—on gait performance in older adults and to determine whether this effect was moderated by cognitive status. Design Validation cohort. Setting General community. Participants Ambulatory older adults without dementia (N=104). Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures In this pilot study, we evaluated walking under auditory constraints in 104 older adults who completed 3 pairs of walking trials on a gait mat under 1 of 3 randomly assigned conditions: 1 pair without auditory stimulation and 2 pairs with emotionally charged auditory stimulation with happy or sad sounds. Results The mean age of subjects was 80.6±4.9 years, and 63% (n=66) were women. The mean velocity during normal walking was 97.9±20.6cm/s, and the mean cadence was 105.1±9.9 steps/min. The effect of walking under auditory constraints on gait characteristics was analyzed using a 2-factorial analysis of variance with a 1-between factor (cognitively intact and minimal cognitive impairment groups) and a 1-within factor (type of auditory stimuli). In both happy and sad auditory stimulation trials, cognitively intact older adults (n=96) showed an average increase of 2.68cm/s in gait velocity (F1.86,191.71=3.99; P=.02) and an average increase of 2.41 steps/min in cadence (F1.75,180.42=10.12; P<.001) as compared with trials without auditory stimulation. In contrast, older adults with minimal cognitive impairment (Blessed test score, 5–10; n=8) showed an average reduction of 5.45cm/s in gait velocity (F1.87,190.83=5.62; P=.005) and an average reduction of 3.88 steps/min in cadence (F1.79,183.10=8.21; P=.001) under both auditory stimulation conditions. Neither baseline fall history nor performance of activities of daily living accounted for these differences. Conclusions Our results provide preliminary evidence of the differentiating effect of emotionally charged auditory stimuli on gait

  1. Auditory hallucinations suppressed by etizolam in a patient with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Benazzi, F; Mazzoli, M; Rossi, E

    1993-10-01

    A patient presented with a 15 year history of schizophrenia with auditory hallucinations. Though unresponsive to prolonged trials of neuroleptics, the auditory hallucinations disappeared with etizolam. PMID:7902201

  2. Auditory Association Cortex Lesions Impair Auditory Short-Term Memory in Monkeys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colombo, Michael; D'Amato, Michael R.; Rodman, Hillary R.; Gross, Charles G.

    1990-01-01

    Monkeys that were trained to perform auditory and visual short-term memory tasks (delayed matching-to-sample) received lesions of the auditory association cortex in the superior temporal gyrus. Although visual memory was completely unaffected by the lesions, auditory memory was severely impaired. Despite this impairment, all monkeys could discriminate sounds closer in frequency than those used in the auditory memory task. This result suggests that the superior temporal cortex plays a role in auditory processing and retention similar to the role the inferior temporal cortex plays in visual processing and retention.

  3. Corpora Amylacea in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Cause or Effect?

    PubMed Central

    Rohn, Troy T.

    2015-01-01

    The presence of corpora amylacea (CA) in the CNS is associated with both normal aging and neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD). CA are spherical bodies ranging in diameter (10–50 μm) and whose origin has been documented to be derived from both neural and glial sources. CA are reported to be primarily composed of glucose polymers, but approximately 4% of the total weight of CA is consistently composed of protein. CA are typically localized in the subpial, periventricular and perivascular regions within the CNS. The presence of CA in VaD has recently been documented and of interest was the localization of CA within the hippocampus proper. Despite numerous efforts, the precise role of CA in normal aging or disease is not known. The purpose of this mini review is to highlight the potential function of CA in various neurodegenerative disorders with an emphasis on the potential role if any these structures may play in the etiology of these diseases. PMID:26550607

  4. Endogenously Nitrated Proteins in Mouse Brain: Links To Neurodegenerative Disease

    SciTech Connect

    Sacksteder, Colette A.; Qian, Weijun; Knyushko, Tanya V.; Wang, Haixing H.; Chin, Mark H.; Lacan, Goran; Melega, William P.; Camp, David G.; Smith, Richard D.; Smith, Desmond J.; Squier, Thomas C.; Bigelow, Diana J.

    2006-07-04

    Increased nitrotyrosine modification of proteins has been documented in multiple pathologies in a variety of tissue types; emerging evidence suggests its additional role in redox regulation of normal metabolism. In order to identify proteins sensitive to nitrating conditions in vivo, a comprehensive proteomic dataset identifying 7,792 proteins from whole mouse brain, generated by LC/LC-MS/MS analyses, was used to identify nitrated proteins. This analysis resulted in identification of 31 unique nitrotyrosine sites within 29 different proteins. Over half of the nitrated proteins identified have been reported to be involved in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, or other neurodegenerative disorders. Similarly, nitrotyrosine immunoblots of whole brain homogenates show that treatment of mice with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), an experimental model of Parkinson's disease, induces increased nitration of the same protein bands observed to be nitrated in brains of untreated animals. Comparing sequences and available high resolution structures around nitrated tyrosines with those of unmodified sites indicates a preference of nitration in vivo for surface accessible tyrosines in loops, characteristics consistent with peroxynitrite-induced tyrosine modification. More striking is the five-fold greater nitration of tyrosines having nearby basic sidechains, suggesting electrostatic attraction of basic groups with the negative charge of peroxynitrite. Together, these results suggest that elevated peroxynitrite generation plays a role in neurodegenerative changes in the brain and provides a predictive tool of functionally important sites of nitration.

  5. Virtual imaging laboratories for marker discovery in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Frisoni, Giovanni B; Redolfi, Alberto; Manset, David; Rousseau, Marc-Étienne; Toga, Arthur; Evans, Alan C

    2011-08-01

    The unprecedented growth, availability and accessibility of imaging data from people with neurodegenerative conditions has led to the development of computational infrastructures, which offer scientists access to large image databases and e-Science services such as sophisticated image analysis algorithm pipelines and powerful computational resources, as well as three-dimensional visualization and statistical tools. Scientific e-infrastructures have been and are being developed in Europe and North America that offer a suite of services for computational neuroscientists. The convergence of these initiatives represents a worldwide infrastructure that will constitute a global virtual imaging laboratory. This will provide computational neuroscientists with a virtual space that is accessible through an ordinary web browser, where image data sets and related clinical variables, algorithm pipelines, computational resources, and statistical and visualization tools will be transparently accessible to users irrespective of their physical location. Such an experimental environment will be instrumental to the success of ambitious scientific initiatives with high societal impact, such as the prevention of Alzheimer disease. In this article, we provide an overview of the currently available e-infrastructures and consider how computational neuroscience in neurodegenerative disease might evolve in the future. PMID:21727938

  6. The Endocannabinoid System: A Putative Role in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Di Iorio, Giuseppe; Lupi, Matteo; Sarchione, Fabiola; Matarazzo, Ilaria; Santacroce, Rita; Petruccelli, Filippo; Martinotti, Giovanni; Di Giannantonio, Massimo

    2013-01-01

    Background: Following the characterization of the chemical structure of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of marijuana, researchers have moved on with scientific valuable explorations. Objectives: The aim of this review is to highlight the role of endocannabinoid system in neurodegenerative diseases. Materials and Methods: The article is a critical analysis of the most recent data currently present in scientific literature on the subject; a qualitative synthesis of only the most significant articles has been performed. Results: In central nervous system, endocannabinoids show a neuromodulatory function, often of retrograde type. This way, they play an important role in synaptic plasticity and in cognitive, motor, sensory and affective processes. In addition, in some acute or chronic pathologies of central nervous system, such as neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases, endocannabinoids can perform a pro-homeostatic and neuroprotective function, through the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Scientific evidence shows that an hypofunction or a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system may be responsible for some of the symptoms of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Conclusions: The important role played by endocannabinoid system promises interesting developments, in particular to evaluate the effectiveness of new drugs in both psychiatry and neurology. PMID:24971285

  7. Prions, prion-like prionoids, and neurodegenerative disorders

    PubMed Central

    Verma, Ashok

    2016-01-01

    Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are fatal neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the aggregation and deposition of the misfolded prion protein in the brain. α-synuclein (α-syn)-associated multiple system atrophy has been recently shown to be caused by a bona fide α-syn prion strain. Several other misfolded native proteins such as β-amyloid, tau and TDP-43 share some aspects of prions although none of them is shown to be transmissible in nature or in experimental animals. However, these prion-like “prionoids” are causal to a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The remarkable recent discovery of at least two new α-syn prion strains and their transmissibility in transgenic mice and in vitro cell models raises a distinct question as to whether some specific strain of other prionoids could have the capability of disease transmission in a manner similar to prions. In this overview, we briefly describe human and other mammalian prion diseases and comment on certain similarities between prion and prionoid and the possibility of prion-like transmissibility of some prionoid strains. PMID:27293325

  8. Creatine for neuroprotection in neurodegenerative disease: end of story?

    PubMed

    Bender, Andreas; Klopstock, Thomas

    2016-08-01

    Creatine (Cr) is a natural compound that plays an important role in cellular energy homeostasis. In addition, it ameliorates oxidative stress, glutamatergic excitotoxicity, and apoptosis in vitro as well as in vivo. Since these pathomechanisms are implicated to play a role in several neurodegenerative diseases, Cr supplementation as a neuroprotective strategy has received a lot of attention with several positive animal studies in models of Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This has led to a number of randomized clinical trials (RCT) with oral Cr supplementation, with durations up to 5 years. In this paper, we review the evidence and consequences stemming from these trials. In the case of PD, the initial phase II RCT was promising and led to a large and well-designed phase III trial, which, however, turned out to be negative for all outcome measures. None of the RCTs that have examined effects of Cr in ALS patients showed any clinical benefit. In HD, Cr in high doses (up to 30 g/day) was shown to slow down brain atrophy in premanifest Huntingtin mutation carriers. In spite of this, proof is still lacking that Cr can also have beneficial clinical effects in this group of patients, who will go on to develop HD symptoms. Taken together, the use of Cr supplementation has so far proved disappointing in clinical studies with a number of symptomatic neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26748651

  9. Genetic determinants at the interface of cancer and neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Morris, L G T; Veeriah, S; Chan, T A

    2010-06-17

    It has been hypothesized that oncogenesis and neurodegeneration may share common mechanistic foundations. Recent evidence now reveals a number of genes in which alteration leads to either carcinogenesis or neurodegeneration, depending on cellular context. Pathways that have emerged as having critical roles in both cancer and neurodegenerative disease include those involving genes such as PARK2, ATM, PTEN, PTPRD, and mTOR. A number of mechanisms have been implicated, and commonly affected cellular processes include cell cycle regulation, DNA repair, and response to oxidative stress. For example, we have recently shown that the E3 ubiquitin ligase PARK2 is mutated or deleted in many different human malignancies and helps drive loss on chromosome 6q25.2-27, a genomic region frequently deleted in cancers. Mutation in PARK2 is also the most common cause of juvenile Parkinson's disease. Mutations in PARK2 result in an upregulation of its substrate cyclin E, resulting in dysregulated entry into the cell cycle. In neurons, this process results in cell death, but in cycling cells, the result is a growth advantage. Thus, depending on whether the cell affected is a dividing cell or a post-mitotic neuron, responses to these alterations may differ, ultimately leading to varying disease phenotypes. Here, we review the substantial data implicating specific genes in both cancer and neurodegenerative disease. PMID:20418918

  10. The 'golden age' of DNA methylation in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Fuso, Andrea

    2013-03-01

    DNA methylation reactions are regulated, in the first instance, by enzymes and the intermediates that constitute the 'so called' one-carbon metabolism. This is a complex biochemical pathway, also known as the homocysteine cycle, regulated by the presence of B vitamins (folate, B6, B12) and choline, among other metabolites. One of the intermediates of this metabolism is S-adenosylmethionine, which represent the methyl donor in all the DNA methyltransferase reactions in eukaryotes. The one-carbon metabolism therefore produces the substrate necessary for the transferring of a methyl group on the cytosine residues of DNA; S-adenosylmethionine also regulates the activity of the enzymes that catalyze this reaction, namely the DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). Alterations of this metabolic cycle can therefore be responsible for aberrant DNA methylation processes possibly leading to several human diseases. As a matter of fact, increasing evidences indicate that a number of human diseases with multifactorial origin may have an epigenetic basis. This is also due to the great technical advances in the field of epigenetic research. Among the human diseases associated with epigenetic factors, aging-related and neurodegenerative diseases are probably the object of most intense research. This review will present the main evidences linking several human diseases to DNA methylation, with particular focus on neurodegenerative diseases, together with a short description of the state-of-the-art of methylation assays. PMID:23183753

  11. Advances in Epigenetics and Epigenomics for Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Qureshi, Irfan A.

    2015-01-01

    In the post-genomic era, epigenetic factors—literally those that are “over” or “above” genetic ones and responsible for controlling the expression and function of genes—have emerged as important mediators of development and aging; gene-gene and gene-environmental interactions; and the pathophysiology of complex disease states. Here, we provide a brief overview of the major epigenetic mechanisms (ie, DNA methylation, histone modifications and chromatin remodeling, and non-coding RNA regulation). We highlight the nearly ubiquitous profiles of epigenetic dysregulation that have been found in Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. We also review innovative methods and technologies that enable the characterization of individual epigenetic modifications and more widespread epigenomic states at high resolution. We conclude that, together with complementary genetic, genomic, and related approaches, interrogating epigenetic and epigenomic profiles in neurodegenerative diseases represent important and increasingly practical strategies for advancing our understanding of and the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders. PMID:21671162

  12. Mitochondrial and Cell Death Mechanisms in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Lee J.

    2010-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are the most common human adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases. They are characterized by prominent age-related neurodegeneration in selectively vulnerable neural systems. Some forms of AD, PD, and ALS are inherited, and genes causing these diseases have been identified. Nevertheless, the mechanisms of the neuronal cell death are unresolved. Morphological, biochemical, genetic, as well as cell and animal model studies reveal that mitochondria could have roles in this neurodegeneration. The functions and properties of mitochondria might render subsets of selectively vulnerable neurons intrinsically susceptible to cellular aging and stress and overlying genetic variations, triggering neurodegeneration according to a cell death matrix theory. In AD, alterations in enzymes involved in oxidative phosphorylation, oxidative damage, and mitochondrial binding of Aβ and amyloid precursor protein have been reported. In PD, mutations in putative mitochondrial proteins have been identified and mitochondrial DNA mutations have been found in neurons in the substantia nigra. In ALS, changes occur in mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes and mitochondrial cell death proteins. Transgenic mouse models of human neurodegenerative disease are beginning to reveal possible principles governing the biology of selective neuronal vulnerability that implicate mitochondria and the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. This review summarizes how mitochondrial pathobiology might contribute to neuronal death in AD, PD, and ALS and could serve as a target for drug therapy. PMID:21258649

  13. The role of zinc in neurodegenerative inflammatory pathways in depression.

    PubMed

    Szewczyk, Bernadeta; Kubera, Marta; Nowak, Gabriel

    2011-04-29

    According to new hypothesis, depression is characterized by decreased neurogenesis and enhanced neurodegeneration which, in part, may be caused by inflammatory processes. There is much evidence indicating that depression, age-related changes often associated with impaired brain function and cognitive performances or neurodegenerative processes could be related to dysfunctions affecting the zinc ion availability. Clinical studies revealed that depression is accompanied by serum hypozincemia, which can be normalized by successful antidepressant treatment. In patients with major depression, a low zinc serum level was correlated with an increase in the activation of markers of the immune system, suggesting that this effect may result in part from a depression-related alteration in the immune-inflammatory system. Moreover, a preliminary clinical study demonstrated the benefit of zinc supplementation in antidepressant therapy in both treatment non-resistant and resistant patients. In the preclinical study, the antidepressant activity of zinc was observed in the majority of rodent tests and models of depression and revealed a causative role for zinc deficiency in the induction of depressive-like symptoms, the reduction of neurogenesis and neuronal survival or impaired learning and memory ability. This paper provides an overview of the clinical and experimental evidence that implicates the role of zinc in the pathophysiology and therapy of depression within the context of the inflammatory and neurodegenerative hypothesis of this disease. PMID:20156515

  14. Clinicopathologic assessment and imaging of tauopathies in neurodegenerative dementias

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Microtubule-associated protein tau encoded by the MAPT gene binds to microtubules and is important for maintaining neuronal morphology and function. Alternative splicing of MAPT pre-mRNA generates six major tau isoforms in the adult central nervous system resulting in tau proteins with three or four microtubule-binding repeat domains. In a group of neurodegenerative disorders called tauopathies, tau becomes aberrantly hyperphosphorylated and dissociates from microtubules, resulting in a progressive accumulation of intracellular tau aggregates. The spectrum of sporadic frontotemporal lobar degeneration associated with tau pathology includes progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, and Pick’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is considered the most prevalent tauopathy. This review is divided into two broad sections. In the first section we discuss the molecular classification of sporadic tauopathies, with a focus on describing clinicopathologic relationships. In the second section we discuss the neuroimaging methodologies that are available for measuring tau pathology (directly using tau positron emission tomography ligands) and tau-mediated neuronal injury (magnetic resonance imaging and fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography). Both sections have detailed descriptions of the following neurodegenerative dementias – Alzheimer’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration and Pick’s disease. PMID:24382028

  15. Alterations of eye movement control in neurodegenerative movement disorders.

    PubMed

    Gorges, Martin; Pinkhardt, Elmar H; Kassubek, Jan

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of the fovea centralis, the most central part of the retina and the area of the highest visual accuracy, requires humans to shift their gaze rapidly (saccades) to bring some object of interest within the visual field onto the fovea. In addition, humans are equipped with the ability to rotate the eye ball continuously in a highly predicting manner (smooth pursuit) to hold a moving target steadily upon the retina. The functional deficits in neurodegenerative movement disorders (e.g., Parkinsonian syndromes) involve the basal ganglia that are critical in all aspects of movement control. Moreover, neocortical structures, the cerebellum, and the midbrain may become affected by the pathological process. A broad spectrum of eye movement alterations may result, comprising smooth pursuit disturbance (e.g., interrupting saccades), saccadic dysfunction (e.g., hypometric saccades), and abnormal attempted fixation (e.g., pathological nystagmus and square wave jerks). On clinical grounds, videooculography is a sensitive noninvasive in vivo technique to classify oculomotion function alterations. Eye movements are a valuable window into the integrity of central nervous system structures and their changes in defined neurodegenerative conditions, that is, the oculomotor nuclei in the brainstem together with their directly activating supranuclear centers and the basal ganglia as well as cortical areas of higher cognitive control of attention. PMID:24955249

  16. Vitagenes, dietary antioxidants and neuroprotection in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Calabrese, Vittorio; Cornelius, Carolin; Mancuso, Cesare; Barone, Eugenio; Calafato, Stella; Bates, Timothy; Rizzarelli, Enrico; Kostova, Albena T Dinkova

    2009-01-01

    The ability of a cell to counteract stressful conditions, known as cellular stress response, requires the activation of pro-survival pathways and the production of molecules with anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic or pro-apoptotic activities. Among the cellular pathways conferring protection against oxidative stress, a key role is played by vitagenes, which include heat shock proteins (Hsps) heme oxygenase-1 and Hsp70, as well as the thioredoxin/thioredoxin reductase system. Heat shock response contributes to establish a cytoprotective state in a wide variety of human diseases, including inflammation, cancer, aging and neurodegenerative disorders. Given the broad cytoprotective properties of the heat shock response there is now strong interest in discovering and developing pharmacological agents capable of inducing stress responses. Dietary antioxidants, such as curcumin, L-carnitine/acetyl-L-carnitine and carnosine have recently been demonstrated in vitro to be neuroprotective through the activation of hormetic pathways, including vitagenes. In the present review we discuss the importance of vitagenes in the cellular stress response and analyse, from a pharmacological point of view, the potential use of dietary antioxidants in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders in humans. PMID:19273073

  17. Prions, prion-like prionoids, and neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Verma, Ashok

    2016-01-01

    Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are fatal neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the aggregation and deposition of the misfolded prion protein in the brain. α-synuclein (α-syn)-associated multiple system atrophy has been recently shown to be caused by a bona fide α-syn prion strain. Several other misfolded native proteins such as β-amyloid, tau and TDP-43 share some aspects of prions although none of them is shown to be transmissible in nature or in experimental animals. However, these prion-like "prionoids" are causal to a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The remarkable recent discovery of at least two new α-syn prion strains and their transmissibility in transgenic mice and in vitro cell models raises a distinct question as to whether some specific strain of other prionoids could have the capability of disease transmission in a manner similar to prions. In this overview, we briefly describe human and other mammalian prion diseases and comment on certain similarities between prion and prionoid and the possibility of prion-like transmissibility of some prionoid strains. PMID:27293325

  18. Role of the Retromer Complex in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chaosi; Shah, Syed Zahid Ali; Zhao, Deming; Yang, Lifeng

    2016-01-01

    The retromer complex is a protein complex that plays a central role in endosomal trafficking. Retromer dysfunction has been linked to a growing number of neurological disorders. The process of intracellular trafficking and recycling is crucial for maintaining normal intracellular homeostasis, which is partly achieved through the activity of the retromer complex. The retromer complex plays a primary role in sorting endosomal cargo back to the cell surface for reuse, to the trans-Golgi network (TGN), or alternatively to specialized endomembrane compartments, in which the cargo is not subjected to lysosomal-mediated degradation. In most cases, the retromer acts as a core that interacts with associated proteins, including sorting nexin family member 27 (SNX27), members of the vacuolar protein sorting 10 (VPS10) receptor family, the major endosomal actin polymerization-promoting complex known as Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein and scar homolog (WASH), and other proteins. Some of the molecules carried by the retromer complex are risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases. Defects such as haplo-insufficiency or mutations in one or several units of the retromer complex lead to various pathologies. Here, we summarize the molecular architecture of the retromer complex and the roles of this system in intracellular trafficking related the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26973516

  19. Inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases – an update

    PubMed Central

    Amor, Sandra; Peferoen, Laura A N; Vogel, Daphne Y S; Breur, Marjolein; Valk, Paul; Baker, David; Noort, Johannes M

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegeneration, the progressive dysfunction and loss of neurons in the central nervous system (CNS), is the major cause of cognitive and motor dysfunction. While neuronal degeneration is well-known in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, it is also observed in neurotrophic infections, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, stroke, neoplastic disorders, prion diseases, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, as well as neuropsychiatric disorders and genetic disorders. A common link between these diseases is chronic activation of innate immune responses including those mediated by microglia, the resident CNS macrophages. Such activation can trigger neurotoxic pathways leading to progressive degeneration. Yet, microglia are also crucial for controlling inflammatory processes, and repair and regeneration. The adaptive immune response is implicated in neurodegenerative diseases contributing to tissue damage, but also plays important roles in resolving inflammation and mediating neuroprotection and repair. The growing awareness that the immune system is inextricably involved in mediating damage as well as regeneration and repair in neurodegenerative disorders, has prompted novel approaches to modulate the immune system, although it remains whether these approaches can be used in humans. Additional factors in humans include ageing and exposure to environmental factors such as systemic infections that provide additional clues that may be human specific and therefore difficult to translate from animal models. Nevertheless, a better understanding of how immune responses are involved in neuronal damage and regeneration, as reviewed here, will be essential to develop effective therapies to improve quality of life, and mitigate the personal, economic and social impact of these diseases. PMID:24329535

  20. MicroRNA in neurodegenerative drug discovery: the way forward?

    PubMed

    Campbell, Kristyn; Booth, Stephanie A

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases occur when neuronal cells in the brain or spinal cord progressively lose function and eventually die. Pathological analysis of these tissues reveals changes that include the loss of synapses, tangles of misfolded protein and immune cell activation, even during very early stages of disease well before debilitating clinical signs are apparent. This suggests that if neurodegeneration is treated early enough, drugs designed to delay the progress of these diseases by either repairing the early damage and loss of neurons, or protecting neuron functionality from further insult, may be efficacious. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that can post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression. They are particularly numerous within neurons where many are expressed with high specificity, which suggests that they have important roles in the healthy brain. Indeed, miRNAs are essential for the post-mitotic survival of neurons, implying a crucial role in survival and neuroprotection. This has focused attention on exploring the use of miRNA-based drugs as a means to correct cellular abnormalities and maintain neuronal function in neurodegenerative diseases. These efforts are spurred on by the rapid progress to clinical trials for a number of miRNA-based therapies for other diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, fibrosis and cancer. PMID:25405898

  1. Roles of peroxiredoxins in cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and inflammatory diseases.

    PubMed

    Park, Mi Hee; Jo, MiRan; Kim, Yu Ri; Lee, Chong-Kil; Hong, Jin Tae

    2016-07-01

    Peroxiredoxins (PRDXs) are antioxidant enzymes, known to catalyze peroxide reduction to balance cellular hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) levels, which are essential for cell signaling and metabolism and act as a regulator of redox signaling. Redox signaling is a critical component of cell signaling pathways that are involved in the regulation of cell growth, metabolism, hormone signaling, immune regulation and variety of other physiological functions. Early studies demonstrated that PRDXs regulates cell growth, metabolism and immune regulation and therefore involved in the pathologic regulator or protectant of several cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and inflammatory diseases. Oxidative stress and antioxidant systems are important regulators of redox signaling regulated diseases. In addition, thiol-based redox systems through peroxiredoxins have been demonstrated to regulate several redox-dependent process related diseases. In this review article, we will discuss recent findings regarding PRDXs in the development of diseases and further discuss therapeutic approaches targeting PRDXs. Moreover, we will suggest that PRDXs could be targets of several diseases and the therapeutic agents for targeting PRDXs may have potential beneficial effects for the treatment of cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and inflammatory diseases. Future research should open new avenues for the design of novel therapeutic approaches targeting PRDXs. PMID:27130805

  2. [Auditory synaptopathy/neuropathy: clinical findings and diagnosis].

    PubMed

    Walger, M; Foerst, A; Beutner, D; Streicher, B; Stürmer, K; Lang-Roth, R

    2011-05-01

    Auditory synaptopathy/neuropathy (AS/AN) is a special subtype of sensorineural hearing disorders with heterogeneous phenotypes and underestimated incidence. AS/AN generally develops in infancy, occasionally in adulthood. Symptoms include fluctuating, mostly bilateral hearing loss and abnormally reduced speech comprehension, especially in noisy environments. Within audiological assessments, patients with AS/AN present otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE; DPOAE) and cochlear microphonics (CM), absence of stapedius reflexes (SR) as well as absent or pathologically altered auditory evoked brainstem potentials (ABR). Children with AS/AN cannot be identified within OAE-based newborn hearing screening programs. Clinical findings, transtympanic electrocochleography (ECoG) and further diagnostic tools permit further identification of individual characteristics. In individual cases conventional amplification and the use of FM systems may improve hearing and communication skills. If these interventions, accompanied by intensive hearing, speech and language therapy are unsuccessful, cochlear implants (CI) or alternative forms of communication may be useful options for rehabilitation. PMID:21505928

  3. Enhancement of auditory cortical development by musical experience in children.

    PubMed

    Shahin, Antoine; Roberts, Larry E; Trainor, Laurel J

    2004-08-26

    Auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) express the development of mature synaptic connections in the upper neocortical laminae known to occur between 4 and 15 years of age. AEPs evoked by piano, violin, and pure tones were measured twice in a group of 4- to 5-year-old children enrolled in Suzuki music lessons and in non-musician controls. P1 was larger in the Suzuki pupils for all tones whereas P2 was enhanced specifically for the instrument of practice (piano or violin). AEPs observed for the instrument of practice were comparable to those of non-musician children about 3 years older in chronological age. The findings set into relief a general process by which the neocortical synaptic matrix is shaped by an accumulation of specific auditory experiences. PMID:15305137

  4. Auditory Processing Disorders: An Overview. ERIC Digest.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ciocci, Sandra R.

    This digest presents an overview of children with auditory processing disorders (APDs), children who can typically hear information but have difficulty attending to, storing, locating, retrieving, and/or clarifying that information to make it useful for academic and social purposes. The digest begins by describing central auditory processing and…

  5. Auditory Processing Disorder and Foreign Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veselovska, Ganna

    2015-01-01

    This article aims at exploring various strategies for coping with the auditory processing disorder in the light of foreign language acquisition. The techniques relevant to dealing with the auditory processing disorder can be attributed to environmental and compensatory approaches. The environmental one involves actions directed at creating a…

  6. Auditory and visual evoked potentials during hyperoxia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, D. B. D.; Strawbridge, P. J.

    1974-01-01

    Experimental study of the auditory and visual averaged evoked potentials (AEPs) recorded during hyperoxia, and investigation of the effect of hyperoxia on the so-called contingent negative variation (CNV). No effect of hyperoxia was found on the auditory AEP, the visual AEP, or the CNV. Comparisons with previous studies are discussed.

  7. Changing Auditory Time with Prismatic Goggles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magnani, Barbara; Pavani, Francesco; Frassinetti, Francesca

    2012-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to explore the spatial organization of auditory time and the effects of the manipulation of spatial attention on such a representation. In two experiments, we asked 28 adults to classify the duration of auditory stimuli as "short" or "long". Stimuli were tones of high or low pitch, delivered left or right of the…

  8. Auditory-Oral Matching Behavior in Newborns

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Xin; Striano, Tricia; Rakoczy, Hannes

    2004-01-01

    Twenty-five newborn infants were tested for auditory-oral matching behavior when presented with the consonant sound /m/ and the vowel sound /a/--a precursor behavior to vocal imitation. Auditory-oral matching behavior by the infant was operationally defined as showing the mouth movement appropriate for producing the model sound just heard (mouth…

  9. Auditory Integration Training: One Clinician's View.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Madell, Jane R.

    1999-01-01

    This article discusses issues related to auditory integration training (AIT), a developing treatment for children with auditory disorders. It presents preliminary data indicating that word recognition scores in the presence of competing noise improves for children with a variety of disorders who have been treated with AIT. (Author/DB)

  10. Further Evidence of Auditory Extinction in Aphasia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Rebecca Shisler; Basilakos, Alexandra; Love-Myers, Kim

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Preliminary research ( Shisler, 2005) suggests that auditory extinction in individuals with aphasia (IWA) may be connected to binding and attention. In this study, the authors expanded on previous findings on auditory extinction to determine the source of extinction deficits in IWA. Method: Seventeen IWA (M[subscript age] = 53.19 years)…

  11. Diderot Reconsidered: Visual Impairment and Auditory Compensation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, L.

    1992-01-01

    This paper reviews two models for auditory compensation attending visual loss--structural and strategic. The paper concludes that it is not clear to what extent differences in auditory processing represent variations in underlying capacity, the development of strategies, attentional activation, or multiple factors. Previous dismissals of…

  12. The Auditory Analysis Test: An Initial Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosner, Jerome; Simon, Dorothea P.

    A new test for auditory perception (Auditory Analysis Test) was given to 284 kindergarten through grade 6 children. The instrument, consisting of 40 items, asks the testee to repeat a spoken word, then to repeat it again without certain specified phonemic elements--such as a beginning, ending or medially-positioned sound. Seven categories of item…

  13. Auditory Learning Materials for Special Education: Catalog.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Marsha C.; O'Connor, Phyllis

    The catalog (developed by the Great Lakes Region Special Education Instructional Materials Center) provides information on more than 100 auditory learning materials for use in special education. Described in the first section of the catalog are procedures used to evaluate and classify auditory instructional materials, including a list of…

  14. Neural circuits in auditory and audiovisual memory.

    PubMed

    Plakke, B; Romanski, L M

    2016-06-01

    Working memory is the ability to employ recently seen or heard stimuli and apply them to changing cognitive context. Although much is known about language processing and visual working memory, the neurobiological basis of auditory working memory is less clear. Historically, part of the problem has been the difficulty in obtaining a robust animal model to study auditory short-term memory. In recent years there has been neurophysiological and lesion studies indicating a cortical network involving both temporal and frontal cortices. Studies specifically targeting the role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in auditory working memory have suggested that dorsal and ventral prefrontal regions perform different roles during the processing of auditory mnemonic information, with the dorsolateral PFC performing similar functions for both auditory and visual working memory. In contrast, the ventrolateral PFC (VLPFC), which contains cells that respond robustly to auditory stimuli and that process both face and vocal stimuli may be an essential locus for both auditory and audiovisual working memory. These findings suggest a critical role for the VLPFC in the processing, integrating, and retaining of communication information. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. PMID:26656069

  15. Multi-site diagnosis and management of 260 patients with auditory neuropathy/dys-synchrony (auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder).

    PubMed

    Berlin, Charles I; Hood, Linda J; Morlet, Thierry; Wilensky, Diane; Li, Li; Mattingly, Kelly Rose; Taylor-Jeanfreau, Jennifer; Keats, Bronya J B; John, Patti St; Montgomery, Elizabeth; Shallop, Jon K; Russell, Benjamin A; Frisch, Stefan A

    2010-01-01

    Test results and management data are summarized for 260 patients with diagnoses of Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD). Hearing aids were tried in 85 of these patients, and 49 patients tried cochlear implants. Approximately 15% reported some benefit from hearing aids for language learning, while improvement in speech comprehension and language acquisition was reported in 85% of patients who were implanted. Approximately 5% (13/260) of the total population developed normal speech and language without intervention. Patients were diagnosed at our laboratory (n=66) or referred from other sites (n=194), and all showed absent/grossly abnormal auditory brainstem responses (ABR), often 'ringing' cochlear microphonics, and the presence or history of otoacoustic emissions. Etiologies and co-existing conditions included genetic (n=41), peripheral neuropathies (n=20), perinatal jaundice and/or anoxia and/or prematurity (n=74). These patients comprise 10% or more of hearing impaired patients; their language acquisition trajectories are generally unpredictable from their audiograms. PMID:20053155

  16. Self-awareness in neurodegenerative disease relies on neural structures mediating reward-driven attention.

    PubMed

    Shany-Ur, Tal; Lin, Nancy; Rosen, Howard J; Sollberger, Marc; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P

    2014-08-01

    Accurate self-awareness is essential for adapting one's tasks and goals to one's actual abilities. Patients with neurodegenerative diseases, particularly those with right frontal involvement, often present with poor self-awareness of their functional limitations that may exacerbate their already jeopardized decision-making and behaviour. We studied the structural neuroanatomical basis for impaired self-awareness among patients with neurodegenerative disease and healthy older adults. One hundred and twenty-four participants (78 patients with neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, right-temporal frontotemporal dementia, semantic variant and non-fluent variant primary progressive aphasia, and 46 healthy controls) described themselves on the Patient Competency Rating Scale, rating observable functioning across four domains (daily living activities, cognitive, emotional control, interpersonal). All participants underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging. Informants also described subjects' functioning on the same scale. Self-awareness was measured by comparing self and informant ratings. Group differences in discrepancy scores were analysed using general linear models, controlling for age, sex and disease severity. Compared with controls, patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia overestimated their functioning in all domains, patients with Alzheimer's disease overestimated cognitive and emotional functioning, patients with right-temporal frontotemporal dementia overestimated interpersonal functioning, and patients with non-fluent aphasia overestimated emotional and interpersonal functioning. Patients with semantic variant aphasia did not overestimate functioning on any domain. To examine the neuroanatomic correlates of impaired self-awareness, discrepancy scores were correlated with brain volume using voxel-based morphometry. To identify the unique neural correlates of overlooking

  17. Tactile feedback improves auditory spatial localization.

    PubMed

    Gori, Monica; Vercillo, Tiziana; Sandini, Giulio; Burr, David

    2014-01-01

    Our recent studies suggest that congenitally blind adults have severely impaired thresholds in an auditory spatial bisection task, pointing to the importance of vision in constructing complex auditory spatial maps (Gori et al., 2014). To explore strategies that may improve the auditory spatial sense in visually impaired people, we investigated the impact of tactile feedback on spatial auditory localization in 48 blindfolded sighted subjects. We measured auditory spatial bisection thresholds before and after training, either with tactile feedback, verbal feedback, or no feedback. Audio thresholds were first measured with a spatial bisection task: subjects judged whether the second sound of a three sound sequence was spatially closer to the first or the third sound. The tactile feedback group underwent two audio-tactile feedback sessions of 100 trials, where each auditory trial was followed by the same spatial sequence played on the subject's forearm; auditory spatial bisection thresholds were evaluated after each session. In the verbal feedback condition, the positions of the sounds were verbally reported to the subject after each feedback trial. The no feedback group did the same sequence of trials, with no feedback. Performance improved significantly only after audio-tactile feedback. The results suggest that direct tactile feedback interacts with the auditory spatial localization system, possibly by a process of cross-sensory recalibration. Control tests with the subject rotated suggested that this effect occurs only when the tactile and acoustic sequences are spatially congruent. Our results suggest that the tactile system can be used to recalibrate the auditory sense of space. These results encourage the possibility of designing rehabilitation programs to help blind persons establish a robust auditory sense of space, through training with the tactile modality. PMID:25368587

  18. A Brain System for Auditory Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Sabine; Gander, Phillip E.; Barascud, Nicolas; Halpern, Andrea R.; Griffiths, Timothy D.

    2016-01-01

    The brain basis for auditory working memory, the process of actively maintaining sounds in memory over short periods of time, is controversial. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging in human participants, we demonstrate that the maintenance of single tones in memory is associated with activation in auditory cortex. In addition, sustained activation was observed in hippocampus and inferior frontal gyrus. Multivoxel pattern analysis showed that patterns of activity in auditory cortex and left inferior frontal gyrus distinguished the tone that was maintained in memory. Functional connectivity during maintenance was demonstrated between auditory cortex and both the hippocampus and inferior frontal cortex. The data support a system for auditory working memory based on the maintenance of sound-specific representations in auditory cortex by projections from higher-order areas, including the hippocampus and frontal cortex. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In this work, we demonstrate a system for maintaining sound in working memory based on activity in auditory cortex, hippocampus, and frontal cortex, and functional connectivity among them. Specifically, our work makes three advances from the previous work. First, we robustly demonstrate hippocampal involvement in all phases of auditory working memory (encoding, maintenance, and retrieval): the role of hippocampus in working memory is controversial. Second, using a pattern classification technique, we show that activity in the auditory cortex and inferior frontal gyrus is specific to the maintained tones in working memory. Third, we show long-range connectivity of auditory cortex to hippocampus and frontal cortex, which may be responsible for keeping such representations active during working memory maintenance. PMID:27098693

  19. A STUDY OF COPING WITH AUDITORY HALLUCINATIONS IN SCHIZOPHRENICS

    PubMed Central

    Ramanathan, A.

    1984-01-01

    SUMMARY The general orientation and activities involved in coping with auditory hallucinations were examined in 30 schizophrenics. Age, personality dimensions, duration of illness, position, loudness and pitch of the voice and interference with activities of patients by the voice were associated with the general orientation. Systematic coping behavior was useful. Socio-economic status and degree of interference with activities were associated with the choice of useful orientation. Manipulation of arousal and control of attention were beneficial. Neuroticism, interference due to voice, emotional intensity during the voice, ‘third person’ voices and anticipation of voice were related to suicidal ideas. PMID:21965990

  20. Vision contingent auditory pitch aftereffects.

    PubMed

    Teramoto, Wataru; Kobayashi, Maori; Hidaka, Souta; Sugita, Yoichi

    2013-08-01

    Visual motion aftereffects can occur contingent on arbitrary sounds. Two circles, placed side by side, were alternately presented, and the onsets were accompanied by tone bursts of high and low frequencies, respectively. After a few minutes of exposure to the visual apparent motion with the tones, a circle blinking at a fixed location was perceived as a lateral motion in the same direction as the previously exposed apparent motion (Teramoto et al. in PLoS One 5:e12255, 2010). In the present study, we attempted to reverse this contingency (pitch aftereffects contingent on visual information). Results showed that after prolonged exposure to the audio-visual stimuli, the apparent visual motion systematically affected the perceived pitch of the auditory stimuli. When the leftward apparent visual motion was paired with the high-low-frequency sequence during the adaptation phase, a test tone sequence was more frequently perceived as a high-low-pitch sequence when the leftward apparent visual motion was presented and vice versa. Furthermore, the effect was specific for the exposed visual field and did not transfer to the other side, thus ruling out an explanation in terms of simple response bias. These results suggest that new audiovisual associations can be established within a short time, and visual information processing and auditory processing can mutually influence each other. PMID:23727883

  1. Auditory midbrain implant: a review.

    PubMed

    Lim, Hubert H; Lenarz, Minoo; Lenarz, Thomas

    2009-09-01

    The auditory midbrain implant (AMI) is a new hearing prosthesis designed for stimulation of the inferior colliculus in deaf patients who cannot sufficiently benefit from cochlear implants. The authors have begun clinical trials in which five patients have been implanted with a single shank AMI array (20 electrodes). The goal of this review is to summarize the development and research that has led to the translation of the AMI from a concept into the first patients. This study presents the rationale and design concept for the AMI as well a summary of the animal safety and feasibility studies that were required for clinical approval. The authors also present the initial surgical, psychophysical, and speech results from the first three implanted patients. Overall, the results have been encouraging in terms of the safety and functionality of the implant. All patients obtain improvements in hearing capabilities on a daily basis. However, performance varies dramatically across patients depending on the implant location within the midbrain with the best performer still not able to achieve open set speech perception without lip-reading cues. Stimulation of the auditory midbrain provides a wide range of level, spectral, and temporal cues, all of which are important for speech understanding, but they do not appear to sufficiently fuse together to enable open set speech perception with the currently used stimulation strategies. Finally, several issues and hypotheses for why current patients obtain limited speech perception along with several feasible solutions for improving AMI implementation are presented. PMID:19762428

  2. Auditory Midbrain Implant: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Hubert H.; Lenarz, Minoo; Lenarz, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    The auditory midbrain implant (AMI) is a new hearing prosthesis designed for stimulation of the inferior colliculus in deaf patients who cannot sufficiently benefit from cochlear implants. The authors have begun clinical trials in which five patients have been implanted with a single shank AMI array (20 electrodes). The goal of this review is to summarize the development and research that has led to the translation of the AMI from a concept into the first patients. This study presents the rationale and design concept for the AMI as well a summary of the animal safety and feasibility studies that were required for clinical approval. The authors also present the initial surgical, psychophysical, and speech results from the first three implanted patients. Overall, the results have been encouraging in terms of the safety and functionality of the implant. All patients obtain improvements in hearing capabilities on a daily basis. However, performance varies dramatically across patients depending on the implant location within the midbrain with the best performer still not able to achieve open set speech perception without lip-reading cues. Stimulation of the auditory midbrain provides a wide range of level, spectral, and temporal cues, all of which are important for speech understanding, but they do not appear to sufficiently fuse together to enable open set speech perception with the currently used stimulation strategies. Finally, several issues and hypotheses for why current patients obtain limited speech perception along with several feasible solutions for improving AMI implementation are presented. PMID:19762428

  3. High resolution auditory perception system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alam, Iftekhar; Ghatol, Ashok

    2005-04-01

    Blindness is a sensory disability which is difficult to treat but can to some extent be helped by artificial aids. The paper describes the design aspects of a high resolution auditory perception system, which is designed on the principle of air sonar with binaural perception. This system is a vision substitution aid for enabling blind persons. The blind person wears ultrasonic eyeglasses which has ultrasonic sensor array embedded on it. The system has been designed to operate in multiresolution modes. The ultrasonic sound from the transmitter array is reflected back by the objects, falling in the beam of the array and is received. The received signal is converted to a sound signal, which is presented stereophonically for auditory perception. A detailed study has been done as the background work required for the system implementation; the appropriate range analysis procedure, analysis of space-time signals, the acoustic sensors study, amplification methods and study of the removal of noise using filters. Finally the system implementation including both the hardware and the software part of it has been described. Experimental results on actual blind subjects and inferences obtained during the study have also been included.

  4. Age-related changes in neural gap detection thresholds in the rat auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yin; Xu, Xiaoxiao; He, Juan; Xu, Jinghong; Zhang, Jiping

    2015-02-01

    The ability of the auditory system to resolve sound temporal information is crucial for the understanding of human speech and other species-specific communications. Gap detection threshold, i.e. the ability to detect the shortest duration of a silent interval in a sound, is commonly used to study the auditory temporal resolution. Behavioral studies in humans and rats have shown that normal developing infants have higher gap detection thresholds than adults; however, the underlying neural mechanism is not fully understood. In the present study, we determined and compared the neural gap detection thresholds in the primary auditory cortex of three age groups of rats: the juvenile group (postnatal day 20-30), adult group I (8-10 weeks), and adult group II (28-30 weeks). We found age-related changes in auditory temporal acuity in the auditory cortex, i.e. the proportion of cortical units with short neural gap detection thresholds (< 5 ms) was much lower in juvenile groups compared with that in both adult groups at a constant sound level, and no significant differences in neural gap detection thresholds were found between the two adult groups. In addition, units in the auditory cortex of each group generally showed better gap detection thresholds at higher sound levels than at lower sound levels, exhibiting a level-dependent temporal acuity. These results provided evidence for neural correlates of age-related changes in behavioral gap detection ability during postnatal hearing development. PMID:25388865

  5. A Model of Auditory-Cognitive Processing and Relevance to Clinical Applicability.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Brent

    2016-01-01

    Hearing loss and cognitive function interact in both a bottom-up and top-down relationship. Listening effort is tied to these interactions, and models have been developed to explain their relationship. The Ease of Language Understanding model in particular has gained considerable attention in its explanation of the effect of signal distortion on speech understanding. Signal distortion can also affect auditory scene analysis ability, however, resulting in a distorted auditory scene that can affect cognitive function, listening effort, and the allocation of cognitive resources. These effects are explained through an addition to the Ease of Language Understanding model. This model can be generalized to apply to all sounds, not only speech, representing the increased effort required for auditory environmental awareness and other nonspeech auditory tasks. While the authors have measures of speech understanding and cognitive load to quantify these interactions, they are lacking measures of the effect of hearing aid technology on auditory scene analysis ability and how effort and attention varies with the quality of an auditory scene. Additionally, the clinical relevance of hearing aid technology on cognitive function and the application of cognitive measures in hearing aid fittings will be limited until effectiveness is demonstrated in real-world situations. PMID:27355775

  6. A blueprint for vocal learning: auditory predispositions from brains to genomes.

    PubMed

    Wheatcroft, David; Qvarnström, Anna

    2015-08-01

    Memorizing and producing complex strings of sound are requirements for spoken human language. We share these behaviours with likely more than 4000 species of songbirds, making birds our primary model for studying the cognitive basis of vocal learning and, more generally, an important model for how memories are encoded in the brain. In songbirds, as in humans, the sounds that a juvenile learns later in life depend on auditory memories formed early in development. Experiments on a wide variety of songbird species suggest that the formation and lability of these auditory memories, in turn, depend on auditory predispositions that stimulate learning when a juvenile hears relevant, species-typical sounds. We review evidence that variation in key features of these auditory predispositions are determined by variation in genes underlying the development of the auditory system. We argue that increased investigation of the neuronal basis of auditory predispositions expressed early in life in combination with modern comparative genomic approaches may provide insights into the evolution of vocal learning. PMID:26246333

  7. A blueprint for vocal learning: auditory predispositions from brains to genomes

    PubMed Central

    Wheatcroft, David; Qvarnström, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Memorizing and producing complex strings of sound are requirements for spoken human language. We share these behaviours with likely more than 4000 species of songbirds, making birds our primary model for studying the cognitive basis of vocal learning and, more generally, an important model for how memories are encoded in the brain. In songbirds, as in humans, the sounds that a juvenile learns later in life depend on auditory memories formed early in development. Experiments on a wide variety of songbird species suggest that the formation and lability of these auditory memories, in turn, depend on auditory predispositions that stimulate learning when a juvenile hears relevant, species-typical sounds. We review evidence that variation in key features of these auditory predispositions are determined by variation in genes underlying the development of the auditory system. We argue that increased investigation of the neuronal basis of auditory predispositions expressed early in life in combination with modern comparative genomic approaches may provide insights into the evolution of vocal learning. PMID:26246333

  8. Evolutionary adaptations for the temporal processing of natural sounds by the anuran peripheral auditory system.

    PubMed

    Schrode, Katrina M; Bee, Mark A

    2015-03-01

    Sensory systems function most efficiently when processing natural stimuli, such as vocalizations, and it is thought that this reflects evolutionary adaptation. Among the best-described examples of evolutionary adaptation in the auditory system are the frequent matches between spectral tuning in both the peripheral and central auditory systems of anurans (frogs and toads) and the frequency spectra of conspecific calls. Tuning to the temporal properties of conspecific calls is less well established, and in anurans has so far been documented only in the central auditory system. Using auditory-evoked potentials, we asked whether there are species-specific or sex-specific adaptations of the auditory systems of gray treefrogs (Hyla chrysoscelis) and green treefrogs (H. cinerea) to the temporal modulations present in conspecific calls. Modulation rate transfer functions (MRTFs) constructed from auditory steady-state responses revealed that each species was more sensitive than the other to the modulation rates typical of conspecific advertisement calls. In addition, auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) to paired clicks indicated relatively better temporal resolution in green treefrogs, which could represent an adaptation to the faster modulation rates present in the calls of this species. MRTFs and recovery of ABRs to paired clicks were generally similar between the sexes, and we found no evidence that males were more sensitive than females to the temporal modulation patterns characteristic of the aggressive calls used in male-male competition. Together, our results suggest that efficient processing of the temporal properties of behaviorally relevant sounds begins at potentially very early stages of the anuran auditory system that include the periphery. PMID:25617467

  9. Evolutionary adaptations for the temporal processing of natural sounds by the anuran peripheral auditory system

    PubMed Central

    Schrode, Katrina M.; Bee, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Sensory systems function most efficiently when processing natural stimuli, such as vocalizations, and it is thought that this reflects evolutionary adaptation. Among the best-described examples of evolutionary adaptation in the auditory system are the frequent matches between spectral tuning in both the peripheral and central auditory systems of anurans (frogs and toads) and the frequency spectra of conspecific calls. Tuning to the temporal properties of conspecific calls is less well established, and in anurans has so far been documented only in the central auditory system. Using auditory-evoked potentials, we asked whether there are species-specific or sex-specific adaptations of the auditory systems of gray treefrogs (Hyla chrysoscelis) and green treefrogs (H. cinerea) to the temporal modulations present in conspecific calls. Modulation rate transfer functions (MRTFs) constructed from auditory steady-state responses revealed that each species was more sensitive than the other to the modulation rates typical of conspecific advertisement calls. In addition, auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) to paired clicks indicated relatively better temporal resolution in green treefrogs, which could represent an adaptation to the faster modulation rates present in the calls of this species. MRTFs and recovery of ABRs to paired clicks were generally similar between the sexes, and we found no evidence that males were more sensitive than females to the temporal modulation patterns characteristic of the aggressive calls used in male–male competition. Together, our results suggest that efficient processing of the temporal properties of behaviorally relevant sounds begins at potentially very early stages of the anuran auditory system that include the periphery. PMID:25617467

  10. Auditory free classification of nonnative speech.

    PubMed

    Atagi, Eriko; Bent, Tessa

    2013-11-01

    Through experience with speech variability, listeners build categories of indexical speech characteristics including categories for talker, gender, and dialect. The auditory free classification task-a task in which listeners freely group talkers based on audio samples-has been a useful tool for examining listeners' representations of some of these characteristics including regional dialects and different languages. The free classification task was employed in the current study to examine the perceptual representation of nonnative speech. The category structure and salient perceptual dimensions of nonnative speech were investigated from two perspectives: general similarity and perceived native language background. Talker intelligibility and whether native talkers were included were manipulated to test stimulus set effects. Results showed that degree of accent was a highly salient feature of nonnative speech for classification based on general similarity and on perceived native language background. This salience, however, was attenuated when listeners were listening to highly intelligible stimuli and attending to the talkers' native language backgrounds. These results suggest that the context in which nonnative speech stimuli are presented-such as the listeners' attention to the talkers' native language and the variability of stimulus intelligibility-can influence listeners' perceptual organization of nonnative speech. PMID:24363470

  11. Relationship between Sympathetic Skin Responses and Auditory Hypersensitivity to Different Auditory Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Kato, Fumi; Iwanaga, Ryoichiro; Chono, Mami; Fujihara, Saori; Tokunaga, Akiko; Murata, Jun; Tanaka, Koji; Nakane, Hideyuki; Tanaka, Goro

    2014-01-01

    [Purpose] Auditory hypersensitivity has been widely reported in patients with autism spectrum disorders. However, the neurological background of auditory hypersensitivity is currently not clear. The present study examined the relationship between sympathetic nervous system responses and auditory hypersensitivity induced by different types of auditory stimuli. [Methods] We exposed 20 healthy young adults to six different types of auditory stimuli. The amounts of palmar sweating resulting from the auditory stimuli were compared between groups with (hypersensitive) and without (non-hypersensitive) auditory hypersensitivity. [Results] Although no group × type of stimulus × first stimulus interaction was observed for the extent of reaction, significant type of stimulus × first stimulus interaction was noted for the extent of reaction. For an 80 dB-6,000 Hz stimulus, the trends for palmar sweating differed between the groups. For the first stimulus, the variance became larger in the hypersensitive group than in the non-hypersensitive group. [Conclusion] Subjects who regularly felt excessive reactions to auditory stimuli tended to have excessive sympathetic responses to repeated loud noises compared with subjects who did not feel excessive reactions. People with auditory hypersensitivity may be classified into several subtypes depending on their reaction patterns to auditory stimuli. PMID:25140103

  12. AUDITORY CORTICAL PLASTICITY: DOES IT PROVIDE EVIDENCE FOR COGNITIVE PROCESSING IN THE AUDITORY CORTEX?

    PubMed Central

    Irvine, Dexter R. F.

    2007-01-01

    The past 20 years have seen substantial changes in our view of the nature of the processing carried out in auditory cortex. Some processing of a cognitive nature, previously attributed to higher order “association” areas, is now considered to take place in auditory cortex itself. One argument adduced in support of this view is the evidence indicating a remarkable degree of plasticity in the auditory cortex of adult animals. Such plasticity has been demonstrated in a wide range of paradigms, in which auditory input or the behavioural significance of particular inputs is manipulated. Changes over the same time period in our conceptualization of the receptive fields of cortical neurons, and well-established mechanisms for use-related changes in synaptic function, can account for many forms of auditory cortical plasticity. On the basis of a review of auditory cortical plasticity and its probable mechanisms, it is argued that only plasticity associated with learning tasks provides a strong case for cognitive processing in auditory cortex. Even in this case the evidence is indirect, in that it has not yet been established that the changes in auditory cortex are necessary for behavioural learning and memory. Although other lines of evidence provide convincing support for cognitive processing in auditory cortex, that provided by auditory cortical plasticity remains equivocal. PMID:17303356

  13. Auditory midbrain processing is differentially modulated by auditory and visual cortices: An auditory fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Gao, Patrick P; Zhang, Jevin W; Fan, Shu-Juan; Sanes, Dan H; Wu, Ed X

    2015-12-01

    The cortex contains extensive descending projections, yet the impact of cortical input on brainstem processing remains poorly understood. In the central auditory system, the auditory cortex contains direct and indirect pathways (via brainstem cholinergic cells) to nuclei of the auditory midbrain, called the inferior colliculus (IC). While these projections modulate auditory processing throughout the IC, single neuron recordings have samples from only a small fraction of cells during stimulation of the corticofugal pathway. Furthermore, assessments of cortical feedback have not been extended to sensory modalities other than audition. To address these issues, we devised blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigms to measure the sound-evoked responses throughout the rat IC and investigated the effects of bilateral ablation of either auditory or visual cortices. Auditory cortex ablation increased the gain of IC responses to noise stimuli (primarily in the central nucleus of the IC) and decreased response selectivity to forward species-specific vocalizations (versus temporally reversed ones, most prominently in the external cortex of the IC). In contrast, visual cortex ablation decreased the gain and induced a much smaller effect on response selectivity. The results suggest that auditory cortical projections normally exert a large-scale and net suppressive influence on specific IC subnuclei, while visual cortical projections provide a facilitatory influence. Meanwhile, auditory cortical projections enhance the midbrain response selectivity to species-specific vocalizations. We also probed the role of the indirect cholinergic projections in the auditory system in the descending modulation process by pharmacologically blocking muscarinic cholinergic receptors. This manipulation did not affect the gain of IC responses but significantly reduced the response selectivity to vocalizations. The results imply that auditory cortical

  14. Nanoparticles and Colloids as Contributing Factors in Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Bondy, Stephen C.

    2011-01-01

    This review explores the processes underlying the deleterious effects of the presence of insoluble or colloidal depositions within the central nervous system. These materials are chemically unreactive and can have a prolonged residence in the brain. They can be composed of mineral or proteinaceous materials of intrinsic or exogenous origin. Such nanoparticulates and colloids are associated with a range of slow-progressing neurodegenerative states. The potential common basis of toxicity of these materials is discussed. A shared feature of these disorders involves the appearance of deleterious inflammatory changes in the CNS. This may be due to extended and ineffective immune responses. Another aspect is the presence of excess levels of reactive oxygen species within the brain. In addition with their induction by inflammatory events, these may be further heightened by the presence of redox active transition metals to the large surface area afforded by nanoparticles and amphipathic micelles. PMID:21776226

  15. Untangling the brain's neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative transcriptional responses.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Karpagam; Friedman, Brad A; Larson, Jessica L; Lauffer, Benjamin E; Goldstein, Leonard D; Appling, Laurie L; Borneo, Jovencio; Poon, Chungkee; Ho, Terence; Cai, Fang; Steiner, Pascal; van der Brug, Marcel P; Modrusan, Zora; Kaminker, Joshua S; Hansen, David V

    2016-01-01

    A common approach to understanding neurodegenerative disease is comparing gene expression in diseased versus healthy tissues. We illustrate that expression profiles derived from whole tissue RNA highly reflect the degenerating tissues' altered cellular composition, not necessarily transcriptional regulation. To accurately understand transcriptional changes that accompany neuropathology, we acutely purify neurons, astrocytes and microglia from single adult mouse brains and analyse their transcriptomes by RNA sequencing. Using peripheral endotoxemia to establish the method, we reveal highly specific transcriptional responses and altered RNA processing in each cell type, with Tnfr1 required for the astrocytic response. Extending the method to an Alzheimer's disease model, we confirm that transcriptomic changes observed in whole tissue are driven primarily by cell type composition, not transcriptional regulation, and identify hundreds of cell type-specific changes undetected in whole tissue RNA. Applying similar methods to additional models and patient tissues will transform our understanding of aberrant gene expression in neurological disease. PMID:27097852

  16. Targeting New Candidate Genes by Small Molecules Approaching Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Hueng-Chuen; Chi, Ching-Shiang; Cheng, Shin-Nan; Lee, Hsiu-Fen; Tsai, Jeng-Dau; Lin, Shinn-Zong; Harn, Horng-Jyh

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are among the most feared of the disorders that afflict humankind for the lack of specific diagnostic tests and effective treatments. Understanding the molecular, cellular, biochemical changes of NDs may hold therapeutic promise against debilitating central nerve system (CNS) disorders. In the present review, we summarized the clinical presentations and biology backgrounds of NDs, including Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and explored the role of molecular mechanisms, including dys-regulation of epigenetic control mechanisms, Ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated protein kinase (ATM), and neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of NDs. Targeting these mechanisms may hold therapeutic promise against these devastating diseases. PMID:26712747

  17. Modelling early responses to neurodegenerative mutations in mice.

    PubMed

    Gilley, Jonathan; Adalbert, Robert; Coleman, Michael P

    2011-08-01

    Considering the many differences between mice and humans, it is perhaps surprising how well mice model late-onset human neurodegenerative disease. Models of Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease show some striking similarities to the corresponding human pathologies in terms of axonal transport disruption, protein aggregation, synapse loss and some behavioural phenotypes. However, there are also major differences. To extrapolate from mouse models to human disease, we need to understand how these differences relate to intrinsic limitations of the mouse system and to the effects of transgene overexpression. In the present paper, we use examples from an amyloid-overexpression model and a mutant-tau-knockin model to illustrate what we learn from each type of approach and what the limitations are. Finally, we discuss the further contributions that knockin and similar approaches can make to understanding pathogenesis and how best to model disorders of aging in a short-lived mammal. PMID:21787326

  18. Revisiting Metal Toxicity in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Stroke: Therapeutic Potential

    PubMed Central

    Mitra, Joy; Vasquez, Velmarini; Hegde, Pavana M; Boldogh, Istvan; Mitra, Sankar; Kent, Thomas A; Rao, Kosagi S; Hegde, Muralidhar L

    2015-01-01

    Excessive accumulation of pro-oxidant metals, observed in affected brain regions, has consistently been implicated as a contributor to the brain pathology including neurodegenerative diseases and acute injuries such as stroke. Furthermore, the potential interactions between metal toxicity and other commonly associated etiological factors, such as misfolding/aggregation of amyloidogenic proteins or genomic damage, are poorly understood. Decades of research provide compelling evidence implicating metal overload in neurological diseases and stroke. However, the utility of metal toxicity as a therapeutic target is controversial, possibly due to a lack of comprehensive understanding of metal dyshomeostasis-mediated neuronal pathology. In this article, we discuss the current understanding of metal toxicity and the challenges associated with metal-targeted therapies. PMID:25717476

  19. Neurodegenerative diseases: quantitative predictions of protein-RNA interactions.

    PubMed

    Cirillo, Davide; Agostini, Federico; Klus, Petr; Marchese, Domenica; Rodriguez, Silvia; Bolognesi, Benedetta; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano

    2013-02-01

    Increasing evidence indicates that RNA plays an active role in a number of neurodegenerative diseases. We recently introduced a theoretical framework, catRAPID, to predict the binding ability of protein and RNA molecules. Here, we use catRAPID to investigate ribonucleoprotein interactions linked to inherited intellectual disability, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Creutzfeuld-Jakob, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's diseases. We specifically focus on (1) RNA interactions with fragile X mental retardation protein FMRP; (2) protein sequestration caused by CGG repeats; (3) noncoding transcripts regulated by TAR DNA-binding protein 43 TDP-43; (4) autogenous regulation of TDP-43 and FMRP; (5) iron-mediated expression of amyloid precursor protein APP and α-synuclein; (6) interactions between prions and RNA aptamers. Our results are in striking agreement with experimental evidence and provide new insights in processes associated with neuronal function and misfunction. PMID:23264567

  20. Neurodegenerative diseases: Quantitative predictions of protein–RNA interactions

    PubMed Central

    Cirillo, Davide; Agostini, Federico; Klus, Petr; Marchese, Domenica; Rodriguez, Silvia; Bolognesi, Benedetta; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano

    2013-01-01

    Increasing evidence indicates that RNA plays an active role in a number of neurodegenerative diseases. We recently introduced a theoretical framework, catRAPID, to predict the binding ability of protein and RNA molecules. Here, we use catRAPID to investigate ribonucleoprotein interactions linked to inherited intellectual disability, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Creutzfeuld-Jakob, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s diseases. We specifically focus on (1) RNA interactions with fragile X mental retardation protein FMRP; (2) protein sequestration caused by CGG repeats; (3) noncoding transcripts regulated by TAR DNA-binding protein 43 TDP-43; (4) autogenous regulation of TDP-43 and FMRP; (5) iron-mediated expression of amyloid precursor protein APP and α-synuclein; (6) interactions between prions and RNA aptamers. Our results are in striking agreement with experimental evidence and provide new insights in processes associated with neuronal function and misfunction. PMID:23264567

  1. Untangling the brain's neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative transcriptional responses

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasan, Karpagam; Friedman, Brad A.; Larson, Jessica L.; Lauffer, Benjamin E.; Goldstein, Leonard D.; Appling, Laurie L.; Borneo, Jovencio; Poon, Chungkee; Ho, Terence; Cai, Fang; Steiner, Pascal; van der Brug, Marcel P.; Modrusan, Zora; Kaminker, Joshua S.; Hansen, David V.

    2016-01-01

    A common approach to understanding neurodegenerative disease is comparing gene expression in diseased versus healthy tissues. We illustrate that expression profiles derived from whole tissue RNA highly reflect the degenerating tissues' altered cellular composition, not necessarily transcriptional regulation. To accurately understand transcriptional changes that accompany neuropathology, we acutely purify neurons, astrocytes and microglia from single adult mouse brains and analyse their transcriptomes by RNA sequencing. Using peripheral endotoxemia to establish the method, we reveal highly specific transcriptional responses and altered RNA processing in each cell type, with Tnfr1 required for the astrocytic response. Extending the method to an Alzheimer's disease model, we confirm that transcriptomic changes observed in whole tissue are driven primarily by cell type composition, not transcriptional regulation, and identify hundreds of cell type-specific changes undetected in whole tissue RNA. Applying similar methods to additional models and patient tissues will transform our understanding of aberrant gene expression in neurological disease. PMID:27097852

  2. Apolipoprotein E: from cardiovascular disease to neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Mahley, Robert W

    2016-07-01

    Apolipoprotein (apo) E was initially described as a lipid transport protein and major ligand for low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors with a role in cholesterol metabolism and cardiovascular disease. It has since emerged as a major risk factor (causative gene) for Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Detailed understanding of the structural features of the three isoforms (apoE2, apoE3, and apoE4), which differ by only a single amino acid interchange, has elucidated their unique functions. ApoE2 and apoE4 increase the risk for heart disease: apoE2 increases atherogenic lipoprotein levels (it binds poorly to LDL receptors), and apoE4 increases LDL levels (it binds preferentially to triglyceride-rich, very low density lipoproteins, leading to downregulation of LDL receptors). ApoE4 also increases the risk for neurodegenerative diseases, decreases their age of onset, or alters their progression. ApoE4 likely causes neurodegeneration secondary to its abnormal structure, caused by an interaction between its carboxyl- and amino-terminal domains, called domain interaction. When neurons are stressed or injured, they synthesize apoE to redistribute cholesterol for neuronal repair or remodeling. However, because of its altered structure, neuronal apoE4 undergoes neuron-specific proteolysis, generating neurotoxic fragments (12-29 kDa) that escape the secretory pathway and cause mitochondrial dysfunction and cytoskeletal alterations, including tau phosphorylation. ApoE4-associated pathology can be prevented by small-molecule structure correctors that block domain interaction by converting apoE4 to a molecule that resembles apoE3 both structurally and functionally. Structure correctors are a potential therapeutic approach to reduce apoE4 pathology in both cardiovascular and neurological disorders. PMID:27277824

  3. A simulation system for biomarker evolution in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Young, Alexandra L; Oxtoby, Neil P; Ourselin, Sebastien; Schott, Jonathan M; Alexander, Daniel C

    2015-12-01

    We present a framework for simulating cross-sectional or longitudinal biomarker data sets from neurodegenerative disease cohorts that reflect the temporal evolution of the disease and population diversity. The simulation system provides a mechanism for evaluating the performance of data-driven models of disease progression, which bring together biomarker measurements from large cross-sectional (or short term longitudinal) cohorts to recover the average population-wide dynamics. We demonstrate the use of the simulation framework in two different ways. First, to evaluate the performance of the Event Based Model (EBM) for recovering biomarker abnormality orderings from cross-sectional datasets. Second, to evaluate the performance of a differential equation model (DEM) for recovering biomarker abnormality trajectories from short-term longitudinal datasets. Results highlight several important considerations when applying data-driven models to sporadic disease datasets as well as key areas for future work. The system reveals several important insights into the behaviour of each model. For example, the EBM is robust to noise on the underlying biomarker trajectory parameters, under-sampling of the underlying disease time course and outliers who follow alternative event sequences. However, the EBM is sensitive to accurate estimation of the distribution of normal and abnormal biomarker measurements. In contrast, we find that the DEM is sensitive to noise on the biomarker trajectory parameters, resulting in an over estimation of the time taken for biomarker trajectories to go from normal to abnormal. This over estimate is approximately twice as long as the actual transition time of the trajectory for the expected noise level in neurodegenerative disease datasets. This simulation framework is equally applicable to a range of other models and longitudinal analysis techniques. PMID:26356148

  4. Neural Basis of Interpersonal Traits in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Sollberger, Marc; Stanley, Christine M.; Wilson, Stephen M.; Gyurak, Anett; Beckman, Victoria; Growdon, Matthew; Jang, Jung; Weiner, Michael W.; Miller, Bruce L.; Rankin, Katherine P.

    2009-01-01

    Several functional and structural imaging studies have investigated the neural basis of personality in healthy adults, but human lesions studies are scarce. Personality changes are a common symptom in patients with neurodegenerative diseases like frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and semantic dementia (SD), allowing a unique window into the neural basis of personality. In this study, we used the Interpersonal Adjective Scales to investigate the structural basis of eight interpersonal traits (dominance, arrogance, coldness, introversion, submissiveness, ingenuousness, warmth, and extraversion) in 257 subjects: 214 patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as FTD, SD, progressive non-fluent aphasia, Alzheimer’s disease, amnestic mild cognitive impairment, corticobasal degeneration, and progressive supranuclear palsy and 43 healthy elderly people. Measures of interpersonal traits were correlated with regional atrophy pattern using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis of structural MR images. Interpersonal traits mapped onto distinct brain regions depending on the degree to which they involved agency and affiliation. Interpersonal traits high in agency related to left dorsolateral prefrontal and left lateral frontopolar regions, whereas interpersonal traits high in affiliation related to right ventromedial prefrontal and right anteromedial temporal regions. Consistent with the existing literature on neural networks underlying social cognition, these results indicate that brain regions related to externally-focused, executive control-related processes underlie agentic interpersonal traits such as dominance, whereas brain regions related to internally-focused, emotion- and reward-related processes underlie affiliative interpersonal traits such as warmth. In addition, these findings indicate that interpersonal traits are subserved by complex neural networks rather than discrete anatomic areas. PMID:19540253

  5. Genetic susceptibility testing for neurodegenerative diseases: Ethical and practice issues

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, J. Scott; Uhlmann, Wendy R.

    2013-01-01

    As the genetics of neurodegenerative disease become better understood, opportunities for genetic susceptibility testing for at-risk individuals will increase. Such testing raises important ethical and practice issues related to test access, informed consent, risk estimation and communication, return of results, and policies to prevent genetic discrimination. The advent of direct-to-consumer genetic susceptibility testing for various neurodegenerative disorders (including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and certain prion diseases) means that ethical and practical challenges must be faced not only in traditional research and clinical settings, but also in broader society. This review addresses several topics relevant to the development and implementation of genetic susceptibility tests across research, clinical, and consumer settings; these include appropriate indications for testing, the implications of different methods for disclosing test results, clinical versus personal utility of risk information, psychological and behavioral responses to test results, testing of minors, genetic discrimination, and ethical dilemmas posed by whole-genome sequencing. We also identify future areas of likely growth in the field, including pharmacogenomics and genetic screening for individuals considering or engaged in activities that pose elevated risk of brain injury (e.g., football players, military personnel). APOE gene testing for risk of Alzheimer’s disease is used throughout as an instructive case example, drawing upon the authors’ experience as investigators in a series of multisite randomized clinical trials that have examined the impact of disclosing APOE genotype status to interested individuals (e.g., first-degree relatives, persons with mild cognitive impairment). PMID:23583530

  6. A Comparison of Three Auditory Discrimination-Perception Tests

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koenke, Karl

    1978-01-01

    Comparisons were made between scores of 52 third graders on three measures of auditory discrimination: Wepman's Auditory Discrimination Test, the Goldman-Fristoe Woodcock (GFW) Test of Auditory Discrimination, and the Kimmell-Wahl Screening Test of Auditory Perception (STAP). (CL)

  7. Auditory Efferent System Modulates Mosquito Hearing.

    PubMed

    Andrés, Marta; Seifert, Marvin; Spalthoff, Christian; Warren, Ben; Weiss, Lukas; Giraldo, Diego; Winkler, Margret; Pauls, Stephanie; Göpfert, Martin C

    2016-08-01

    The performance of vertebrate ears is controlled by auditory efferents that originate in the brain and innervate the ear, synapsing onto hair cell somata and auditory afferent fibers [1-3]. Efferent activity can provide protection from noise and facilitate the detection and discrimination of sound by modulating mechanical amplification by hair cells and transmitter release as well as auditory afferent action potential firing [1-3]. Insect auditory organs are thought to lack efferent control [4-7], but when we inspected mosquito ears, we obtained evidence for its existence. Antibodies against synaptic proteins recognized rows of bouton-like puncta running along the dendrites and axons of mosquito auditory sensory neurons. Electron microscopy identified synaptic and non-synaptic sites of vesicle release, and some of the innervating fibers co-labeled with somata in the CNS. Octopamine, GABA, and serotonin were identified as efferent neurotransmitters or neuromodulators that affect auditory frequency tuning, mechanical amplification, and sound-evoked potentials. Mosquito brains thus modulate mosquito ears, extending the use of auditory efferent systems from vertebrates to invertebrates and adding new levels of complexity to mosquito sound detection and communication. PMID:27476597

  8. Functional imaging of auditory scene analysis.

    PubMed

    Gutschalk, Alexander; Dykstra, Andrew R

    2014-01-01

    Our auditory system is constantly faced with the task of decomposing the complex mixture of sound arriving at the ears into perceptually independent streams constituting accurate representations of individual sound sources. This decomposition, termed auditory scene analysis, is critical for both survival and communication, and is thought to underlie both speech and music perception. The neural underpinnings of auditory scene analysis have been studied utilizing invasive experiments with animal models as well as non-invasive (MEG, EEG, and fMRI) and invasive (intracranial EEG) studies conducted with human listeners. The present article reviews human neurophysiological research investigating the neural basis of auditory scene analysis, with emphasis on two classical paradigms termed streaming and informational masking. Other paradigms - such as the continuity illusion, mistuned harmonics, and multi-speaker environments - are briefly addressed thereafter. We conclude by discussing the emerging evidence for the role of auditory cortex in remapping incoming acoustic signals into a perceptual representation of auditory streams, which are then available for selective attention and further conscious processing. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Human Auditory Neuroimaging. PMID:23968821

  9. Auditory motion processing after early blindness

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Fang; Stecker, G. Christopher; Fine, Ione

    2014-01-01

    Studies showing that occipital cortex responds to auditory and tactile stimuli after early blindness are often interpreted as demonstrating that early blind subjects “see” auditory and tactile stimuli. However, it is not clear whether these occipital responses directly mediate the perception of auditory/tactile stimuli, or simply modulate or augment responses within other sensory areas. We used fMRI pattern classification to categorize the perceived direction of motion for both coherent and ambiguous auditory motion stimuli. In sighted individuals, perceived motion direction was accurately categorized based on neural responses within the planum temporale (PT) and right lateral occipital cortex (LOC). Within early blind individuals, auditory motion decisions for both stimuli were successfully categorized from responses within the human middle temporal complex (hMT+), but not the PT or right LOC. These findings suggest that early blind responses within hMT+ are associated with the perception of auditory motion, and that these responses in hMT+ may usurp some of the functions of nondeprived PT. Thus, our results provide further evidence that blind individuals do indeed “see” auditory motion. PMID:25378368

  10. Auditory memory function in expert chess players

    PubMed Central

    Fattahi, Fariba; Geshani, Ahmad; Jafari, Zahra; Jalaie, Shohreh; Salman Mahini, Mona

    2015-01-01

    Background: Chess is a game that involves many aspects of high level cognition such as memory, attention, focus and problem solving. Long term practice of chess can improve cognition performances and behavioral skills. Auditory memory, as a kind of memory, can be influenced by strengthening processes following long term chess playing like other behavioral skills because of common processing pathways in the brain. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the auditory memory function of expert chess players using the Persian version of dichotic auditory-verbal memory test. Methods: The Persian version of dichotic auditory-verbal memory test was performed for 30 expert chess players aged 20-35 years and 30 non chess players who were matched by different conditions; the participants in both groups were randomly selected. The performance of the two groups was compared by independent samples t-test using SPSS version 21. Results: The mean score of dichotic auditory-verbal memory test between the two groups, expert chess players and non-chess players, revealed a significant difference (p≤ 0.001). The difference between the ears scores for expert chess players (p= 0.023) and non-chess players (p= 0.013) was significant. Gender had no effect on the test results. Conclusion: Auditory memory function in expert chess players was significantly better compared to non-chess players. It seems that increased auditory memory function is related to strengthening cognitive performances due to playing chess for a long time. PMID:26793666

  11. Auditory category knowledge in experts and novices

    PubMed Central

    Heald, Shannon L. M.; Van Hedger, Stephen C.; Nusbaum, Howard C.

    2014-01-01

    What do listeners know about sounds that have a systematic organization? Research suggests that listeners store absolute pitch information as part of their representations for specific auditory experiences. It is unclear however, if such knowledge is abstracted beyond these experiences. In two studies we examined this question via a tone adjustment task in which listeners heard one of several target tones to be matched by adjusting the frequency of a subsequent starting tone. In the first experiment listeners estimated tones from one of three distributions differing in frequency range. The effect of tone matching in the three different distributions was then modeled using randomly generated data (RGD) to ascertain the degree to which individuals' estimates are affected by generalized note knowledge. Results showed that while listeners' estimates were similar to the RGD, indicating a central tendency effect reflective of the target tone distribution, listeners were more accurate than the RGD indicating that their estimates were affected by generalized note knowledge. The second experiment tested three groups of listeners who vary in the nature of their note knowledge. Specifically, absolute pitch (AP) possessors, non-AP listeners matched in musical expertise (ME), and non-AP musical novices (MN) adjusted tones from a micro-scale that included only two in-tune notes (B4 and C5). While tone estimates for all groups showed a central tendency effect reflective of the target tone distribution, each groups' estimates were more accurate than the RGD, indicating all listeners' estimates were guided by generalized note knowledge. Further, there was evidence that explicit note knowledge additionally influenced AP possessors' tone estimates, as tones closer to C5 had less error. Results indicate that everyday listeners possess generalized note knowledge that influences the perception of isolated tones and that this effect is made more evident with additional musical experience

  12. Does visual experience influence the spatial distribution of auditory attention?

    PubMed

    Lerens, Elodie; Renier, Laurent

    2014-02-01

    Sighted individuals are less accurate and slower to localize sounds coming from the peripheral space than sounds coming from the frontal space. This specific bias in favour of the frontal auditory space seems reduced in early blind individuals, who are particularly better than sighted individuals at localizing sounds coming from the peripheral space. Currently, it is not clear to what extent this bias in the auditory space is a general phenomenon or if it applies only to spatial processing (i.e. sound localization). In our approach we compared the performance of early blind participants with that of sighted subjects during a frequency discrimination task with sounds originating either from frontal or peripheral locations. Results showed that early blind participants discriminated faster than sighted subjects both peripheral and frontal sounds. In addition, sighted subjects were faster at discriminating frontal sounds than peripheral ones, whereas early blind participants showed equal discrimination speed for frontal and peripheral sounds. We conclude that the spatial bias observed in sighted subjects reflects an unbalance in the spatial distribution of auditory attention resources that is induced by visual experience. PMID:24378238

  13. K-means clustering method for auditory evoked potentials selection.

    PubMed

    Gourevitch, B; Le Bouquin-Jeannes, R

    2003-07-01

    Surface auditory evoked potentials are generally recorded using a headset of 32, 64 or 128 electrodes, but the quality of the responses is quite heterogeneous on the scalp surface. In some contexts, such as the analysis of auditory evoked potentials recorded in radio-frequency fields, the signal quality is essential, and it appears pertinent to consider only a limited number of electrodes. Therefore, before analysing signals influenced by radio-frequency fields, it is necessary to consider the preliminary step of selecting the channels where auditory activity is strong. This step is often realised by human visual selection and can take a considerable time. In this paper, a simple k-means clustering method is proposed, to select automatically the important channels, and the results are compared with traditional methods of selection. The method detected channels that showed a concordance rate of 86.5% with the visual selection (performed by five individuals) and gave the same final selection (only two extra electrodes in the automatic case). Moreover, the time needed for this automatic selection was 100 times less than that for the visual selection, and also human variability was avoided. PMID:12892361

  14. Feedback delays eliminate auditory-motor learning in speech production.

    PubMed

    Max, Ludo; Maffett, Derek G

    2015-03-30

    Neurologically healthy individuals use sensory feedback to alter future movements by updating internal models of the effector system and environment. For example, when visual feedback about limb movements or auditory feedback about speech movements is experimentally perturbed, the planning of subsequent movements is adjusted - i.e., sensorimotor adaptation occurs. A separate line of studies has demonstrated that experimentally delaying the sensory consequences of limb movements causes the sensory input to be attributed to external sources rather than to one's own actions. Yet similar feedback delays have remarkably little effect on visuo-motor adaptation (although the rate of learning varies, the amount of adaptation is only moderately affected with delays of 100-200ms, and adaptation still occurs even with a delay as long as 5000ms). Thus, limb motor learning remains largely intact even in conditions where error assignment favors external factors. Here, we show a fundamentally different result for sensorimotor control of speech articulation: auditory-motor adaptation to formant-shifted feedback is completely eliminated with delays of 100ms or more. Thus, for speech motor learning, real-time auditory feedback is critical. This novel finding informs theoretical models of human motor control in general and speech motor control in particular, and it has direct implications for the application of motor learning principles in the habilitation and rehabilitation of individuals with various sensorimotor speech disorders. PMID:25676810

  15. Spatial auditory processing in pinnipeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Marla M.

    Given the biological importance of sound for a variety of activities, pinnipeds must be able to obtain spatial information about their surroundings thorough acoustic input in the absence of other sensory cues. The three chapters of this dissertation address spatial auditory processing capabilities of pinnipeds in air given that these amphibious animals use acoustic signals for reproduction and survival on land. Two chapters are comparative lab-based studies that utilized psychophysical approaches conducted in an acoustic chamber. Chapter 1 addressed the frequency-dependent sound localization abilities at azimuth of three pinniped species (the harbor seal, Phoca vitulina, the California sea lion, Zalophus californianus, and the northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris). While performances of the sea lion and harbor seal were consistent with the duplex theory of sound localization, the elephant seal, a low-frequency hearing specialist, showed a decreased ability to localize the highest frequencies tested. In Chapter 2 spatial release from masking (SRM), which occurs when a signal and masker are spatially separated resulting in improvement in signal detectability relative to conditions in which they are co-located, was determined in a harbor seal and sea lion. Absolute and masked thresholds were measured at three frequencies and azimuths to determine the detection advantages afforded by this type of spatial auditory processing. Results showed that hearing sensitivity was enhanced by up to 19 and 12 dB in the harbor seal and sea lion, respectively, when the signal and masker were spatially separated. Chapter 3 was a field-based study that quantified both sender and receiver variables of the directional properties of male northern elephant seal calls produce within communication system that serves to delineate dominance status. This included measuring call directivity patterns, observing male-male vocally-mediated interactions, and an acoustic playback study

  16. Auditory connections and functions of prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Plakke, Bethany; Romanski, Lizabeth M.

    2014-01-01

    The functional auditory system extends from the ears to the frontal lobes with successively more complex functions occurring as one ascends the hierarchy of the nervous system. Several areas of the frontal lobe receive afferents from both early and late auditory processing regions within the temporal lobe. Afferents from the early part of the cortical auditory system, the auditory belt cortex, which are presumed to carry information regarding auditory features of sounds, project to only a few prefrontal regions and are most dense in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). In contrast, projections from the parabelt and the rostral superior temporal gyrus (STG) most likely convey more complex information and target a larger, widespread region of the prefrontal cortex. Neuronal responses reflect these anatomical projections as some prefrontal neurons exhibit responses to features in acoustic stimuli, while other neurons display task-related responses. For example, recording studies in non-human primates indicate that VLPFC is responsive to complex sounds including vocalizations and that VLPFC neurons in area 12/47 respond to sounds with similar acoustic morphology. In contrast, neuronal responses during auditory working memory involve a wider region of the prefrontal cortex. In humans, the frontal lobe is involved in auditory detection, discrimination, and working memory. Past research suggests that dorsal and ventral subregions of the prefrontal cortex process different types of information with dorsal cortex processing spatial/visual information and ventral cortex processing non-spatial/auditory information. While this is apparent in the non-human primate and in some neuroimaging studies, most research in humans indicates that specific task conditions, stimuli or previous experience may bias the recruitment of specific prefrontal regions, suggesting a more flexible role for the frontal lobe during auditory cognition. PMID:25100931

  17. Neurodegenerative disorder masquerading as psychosis in a forensic psychiatry setting

    PubMed Central

    Sommerlad, Andrew; Lee, James; Warren, Jason; Price, Gary

    2014-01-01

    A man presenting in his 50s, following conviction for a non-violent crime, to forensic psychiatric services, and then to a neuropsychiatry service with an unusual presentation of psychosis: second person auditory hallucinations, grandiose delusions and somatic delusions. Detailed collateral and family history revealed a background of progressive cognitive deficit and a family history of motor neuron disease. MRI of the brain revealed asymmetrical parieto-occipital volume loss and genetic testing demonstrated a pathogenic expansion of the chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72) gene consistent with familial frontotemporal dementia caused by a hexanucleotide repeat expansion at C9ORF72, a recently discovered cause of familial frontotemporal dementia/motor neuron disease. This form of frontotemporal dementia should be considered as an important potential differential diagnosis for patients presenting with psychotic symptoms in later life, in whom a detailed family history and thorough cognitive assessment is essential. PMID:24928930

  18. Persistent Fluctuations in Stride Intervals under Fractal Auditory Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Marmelat, Vivien; Torre, Kjerstin; Beek, Peter J.; Daffertshofer, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Stride sequences of healthy gait are characterized by persistent long-range correlations, which become anti-persistent in the presence of an isochronous metronome. The latter phenomenon is of particular interest because auditory cueing is generally considered to reduce stride variability and may hence be beneficial for stabilizing gait. Complex systems tend to match their correlation structure when synchronizing. In gait training, can one capitalize on this tendency by using a fractal metronome rather than an isochronous one? We examined whether auditory cues with fractal variations in inter-beat intervals yield similar fractal inter-stride interval variability as isochronous auditory cueing in two complementary experiments. In Experiment 1, participants walked on a treadmill while being paced by either an isochronous or a fractal metronome with different variation strengths between beats in order to test whether participants managed to synchronize with a fractal metronome and to determine the necessary amount of variability for participants to switch from anti-persistent to persistent inter-stride intervals. Participants did synchronize with the metronome despite its fractal randomness. The corresponding coefficient of variation of inter-beat intervals was fixed in Experiment 2, in which participants walked on a treadmill while being paced by non-isochronous metronomes with different scaling exponents. As expected, inter-stride intervals showed persistent correlations similar to self-paced walking only when cueing contained persistent correlations. Our results open up a new window to optimize rhythmic auditory cueing for gait stabilization by integrating fractal fluctuations in the inter-beat intervals. PMID:24651455

  19. Persistent fluctuations in stride intervals under fractal auditory stimulation.

    PubMed

    Marmelat, Vivien; Torre, Kjerstin; Beek, Peter J; Daffertshofer, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Stride sequences of healthy gait are characterized by persistent long-range correlations, which become anti-persistent in the presence of an isochronous metronome. The latter phenomenon is of particular interest because auditory cueing is generally considered to reduce stride variability and may hence be beneficial for stabilizing gait. Complex systems tend to match their correlation structure when synchronizing. In gait training, can one capitalize on this tendency by using a fractal metronome rather than an isochronous one? We examined whether auditory cues with fractal variations in inter-beat intervals yield similar fractal inter-stride interval variability as isochronous auditory cueing in two complementary experiments. In Experiment 1, participants walked on a treadmill while being paced by either an isochronous or a fractal metronome with different variation strengths between beats in order to test whether participants managed to synchronize with a fractal metronome and to determine the necessary amount of variability for participants to switch from anti-persistent to persistent inter-stride intervals. Participants did synchronize with the metronome despite its fractal randomness. The corresponding coefficient of variation of inter-beat intervals was fixed in Experiment 2, in which participants walked on a treadmill while being paced by non-isochronous metronomes with different scaling exponents. As expected, inter-stride intervals showed persistent correlations similar to self-paced walking only when cueing contained persistent correlations. Our results open up a new window to optimize rhythmic auditory cueing for gait stabilization by integrating fractal fluctuations in the inter-beat intervals. PMID:24651455

  20. Adaptation in the auditory space map of the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Gutfreund, Yoram; Knudsen, Eric I

    2006-08-01

    Auditory neurons in the owl's external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICX) integrate information across frequency channels to create a map of auditory space. This study describes a powerful, sound-driven adaptation of unit responsiveness in the ICX and explores the implications of this adaptation for sensory processing. Adaptation in the ICX was analyzed by presenting lightly anesthetized owls with sequential pairs of dichotic noise bursts. Adaptation occurred in response even to weak, threshold-level sounds and remained strong for more than 100 ms after stimulus offset. Stimulation by one range of sound frequencies caused adaptation that generalized across the entire broad range of frequencies to which these units responded. Identical stimuli were used to test adaptation in the lateral shell of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICCls), which provides input directly to the ICX. Compared with ICX adaptation, adaptation in the ICCls was substantially weaker, shorter lasting, and far more frequency specific, suggesting that part of the adaptation observed in the ICX was attributable to processes resident to the ICX. The sharp tuning of ICX neurons to space, along with their broad tuning to frequency, allows ICX adaptation to preserve a representation of stimulus location, regardless of the frequency content of the sound. The ICX is known to be a site of visually guided auditory map plasticity. ICX adaptation could play a role in this cross-modal plasticity by providing a short-term memory of the representation of auditory localization cues that could be compared with later-arriving, visual-spatial information from bimodal stimuli. PMID:16707713

  1. How do neurons work together? Lessons from auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Kenneth D.; Bartho, Peter; Chadderton, Paul; Curto, Carina; de la Rocha, Jaime; Hollender, Liad; Itskov, Vladimir; Luczak, Artur; Marguet, Stephan L.; Renart, Alfonso; Sakata, Shuzo

    2010-01-01

    Recordings of single neurons have yielded great insights into the way acoustic stimuli are represented in auditory cortex. However, any one neuron functions as part of a population whose combined activity underlies cortical information processing. Here we review some results obtained by recording simultaneously from auditory cortical populations and individual morphologically identified neurons, in urethane-anesthetized and unanesthetized passively listening rats. Auditory cortical populations produced structured activity patterns both in response to acoustic stimuli, and spontaneously without sensory input. Population spike time patterns were broadly conserved across multiple sensory stimuli and spontaneous events, exhibiting a generally conserved sequential organization lasting approximately 100ms. Both spontaneous and evoked events exhibited sparse, spatially localized activity in layer 2/3 pyramidal cells, and densely distributed activity in larger layer 5 pyramidal cells and putative interneurons. Laminar propagation differed however, with spontaneous activity spreading upward from deep layers and slowly across columns, but sensory responses initiating in presumptive thalamorecipient layers, spreading rapidly across columns. In both unanesthetized and urethanized rats, global activity fluctuated between “desynchronized” state characterized by low amplitude, high-frequency local field potentials and a “synchronized” state of larger, lower-frequency waves. Computational studies suggested that responses could be predicted by a simple dynamical system model fitted to the spontaneous activity immediately preceding stimulus presentation. Fitting this model to the data yielded a nonlinear self-exciting system model in synchronized states and an approximately linear system in desynchronized states. We comment on the significance of these results for auditory cortical processing of acoustic and non-acoustic information. PMID:20603208

  2. Causal contribution of primate auditory cortex to auditory perceptual decision-making

    PubMed Central

    Tsunada, Joji; Liu, Andrew S.K.; Gold, Joshua I.; Cohen, Yale E.

    2015-01-01

    Auditory perceptual decisions are thought to be mediated by the ventral auditory pathway. However, the specific and causal contributions of different brain regions in this pathway, including the middle-lateral (ML) and anterolateral (AL) belt regions of the auditory cortex, to auditory decisions have not been fully identified. To identify these contributions, we recorded from and microstimulated ML and AL sites while monkeys decided whether an auditory stimulus contained more low-frequency or high-frequency tone bursts. Both ML and AL neural activity was modulated by the frequency content of the stimulus. However, only the responses of the most stimulus-sensitive AL neurons were systematically modulated by the monkeys’ choices. Consistent with this observation, microstimulation of AL—but not ML—systematically biased the monkeys’ behavior toward the choice associated with the preferred frequency of the stimulated site. Together, these findings suggest that AL directly and causally contributes sensory evidence used to form this auditory decision. PMID:26656644

  3. Auditory Neuropathy/Dyssynchrony in Biotinidase Deficiency

    PubMed Central

    Yaghini, Omid

    2016-01-01

    Biotinidase deficiency is a disorder inherited autosomal recessively showing evidence of hearing loss and optic atrophy in addition to seizures, hypotonia, and ataxia. In the present study, a 2-year-old boy with Biotinidase deficiency is presented in which clinical symptoms have been reported with auditory neuropathy/auditory dyssynchrony (AN/AD). In this case, transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions showed bilaterally normal responses representing normal function of outer hair cells. In contrast, acoustic reflex test showed absent reflexes bilaterally, and visual reinforcement audiometry and auditory brainstem responses indicated severe to profound hearing loss in both ears. These results suggest AN/AD in patients with Biotinidase deficiency. PMID:27144235

  4. Molecular study of patients with auditory neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Guilherme Machado De; Ramos, Priscila Zonzini; Castilho, Arthur Menino; Guimarães, Alexandre Caixeta; Sartorato, Edi Lúcia

    2016-07-01

    Auditory neuropathy is a type of hearing loss that constitutes a change in the conduct of the auditory stimulus by the involvement of inner hair cells or auditory nerve synapses. It is characterized by the absence or alteration of waves in the examination of brainstem auditory evoked potentials, with otoacoustic and/or cochlear microphonic issues. At present, four loci associated with non‑syndromic auditory neuropathy have been mapped: Autosomal recessive deafness‑9 [DFNB9; the otoferlin (OTOF) gene] and autosomal recessive deafness‑59 [DFNB59; the pejvakin (PJVK) gene], associated with autosomal recessive inheritance; the autosomal dominant auditory neuropathy gene [AUNA1; the diaphanous‑3 (DIAPH3) gene]; and AUNX1, linked to chromosome X. Furthermore, mutations of connexin 26 [the gap junction β2 (GJB2) gene] have also been associated with the disease. OTOF gene mutations exert a significant role in auditory neuropathy. In excess of 80 pathogenic mutations have been identified in individuals with non‑syndromic deafness in populations of different origins, with an emphasis on the p.Q829X mutation, which was found in ~3% of cases of deafness in the Spanish population. The identification of genetic alterations responsible for auditory neuropathy is one of the challenges contributing to understand the molecular bases of the different phenotypes of hearing loss. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate molecular changes in the OTOF gene in patients with auditory neuropathy, and to develop a DNA chip for the molecular diagnosis of auditory neuropathy using mass spectrometry for genotyping. Genetic alterations were investigated in 47 patients with hearing loss and clinical diagnosis of auditory neuropathy, and the c.35delG mutation in the GJB2 gene was identified in three homozygous patients, and the heterozygous parents of one of these cases. Additionally, OTOF gene mutations were tracked by complete sequencing of 48 exons, although these results

  5. Functional organization of the mammalian auditory midbrain.

    PubMed

    Ono, Munenori; Ito, Tetsufumi

    2015-11-01

    The inferior colliculus (IC) is a critical nexus between the auditory brainstem and the forebrain. Parallel auditory pathways that emerge from the brainstem are integrated in the IC. In this integration, de-novo auditory information processed as local and ascending inputs converge via the complex neural circuit of the IC. However, it is still unclear how information is processed within the neural circuit. The purpose of this review is to give an anatomical and physiological overview of the IC neural circuit. We address the functional organization of the IC where the excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs interact to shape the responses of IC neurons to sound. PMID:26362672

  6. Auditory display for the blind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fish, R. M. (Inventor)

    1974-01-01

    A system for providing an auditory display of two-dimensional patterns as an aid to the blind is described. It includes a scanning device for producing first and second voltages respectively indicative of the vertical and horizontal positions of the scan and a further voltage indicative of the intensity at each point of the scan and hence of the presence or absence of the pattern at that point. The voltage related to scan intensity controls transmission of the sounds to the subject so that the subject knows that a portion of the pattern is being encountered by the scan when a tone is heard, the subject determining the position of this portion of the pattern in space by the frequency and interaural difference information contained in the tone.

  7. Survival of auditory hair cells.

    PubMed

    Seymour, Michelle L; Pereira, Fred A

    2015-07-01

    The inability of mammals to regenerate auditory hair cells creates a pressing need to understand the means of enhancing hair cell survival following insult or injury. Hair cells are easily damaged by noise exposure, by ototoxic medications and as a consequence of aging processes, all of which lead to progressive and permanent hearing impairment as hair cells are lost. Significant efforts have been invested in designing strategies to prevent this damage from occurring since permanent hearing loss has a profound impact on communication and quality of life for patients. In this mini-review, we discuss recent progress in the use of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and apoptosis inhibitors to enhance hair cell survival. We conclude by clarifying the distinction between protection and rescue strategies and by highlighting important areas of future research. PMID:25743696

  8. Central auditory testing and dyslexia.

    PubMed

    Welsh, L W; Welsh, J J; Healy, M P

    1980-06-01

    A group of dyslexic pupils with normal end organ function was studied by a central auditory battery to determine whether a hearing disability existed. The clinical features of dyslexia are presented with emphasis on the psychological developmental and functional disorders associated with this reading problem. The central battery of Willeford was selected as the test medium and the results of the 77 dyslexic students were compared to the normative data. The model proposed by Sparks, et al., is accepted as the mechanism for dichotic audition. Reference is made to the organic basis of reading disorders from lesion in the calcarine area to the angular gyrus. The competing sentence test, binaural fusion, rapidly alternating speech perception, and filtered speech are described in detail and are organic foundation for the study. The authors indentified a high rate of failure in this investigation. Over 50% of the dyslexic students failed two of the four tests, and each of the 77 failed at least one component. The most sensitive tests were binaural fusion and filtered speech with less variation from the norm in the remaining two components. The effect of maturation in central audition was measured in each of the four tests. The data suggest: 1. the scores are lower in the early ages in each test; 2. that rapidly alternating speech and competing sentences approach the normal range albeit somewhat delayed; and 3. that binaural fusion and filtered speech improve in score somewhat but rather moderately and never approach the normal range. Based upon the central auditory data and in conjunction with the anatomical pathways of vision, the authors suggest the site of lesion to be in the temporo-parietal cortex and the association fibers. PMID:7382713

  9. The Broad Impact of TOM40 on Neurodegenerative Diseases in Aging

    PubMed Central

    Gottschalk, William K.; Lutz, Michael W.; He, Yu Ting; Saunders, Ann M.; Burns, Daniel K.; Roses, Allen D.; Chiba-Falek, Ornit

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is an important factor in the pathogenesis of age-related diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s spectrum disorders. A polymorphism in Translocase of the Outer Mitochondrial Membrane – 40 kD (TOMM40) is associated with risk and age-of onset of late-onset AD, and is the only nuclear- encoded gene identified in genetic studies to date that presumably contributes to LOAD-related mitochondria dysfunction. In this review, we describe the TOM40-mediated mitochondrial protein import mechanism, and discuss the evidence linking TOM40 with Alzheimer’s (AD) and Parkinson’s (PD) diseases. All but 36 of the >~1,500 mitochondrial proteins are encoded by the nucleus and are synthesized on cytoplasmic ribosomes, and most of these are imported into mitochondria through the TOM complex, of which TOM40 is the central pore, mediating communication between the cytoplasm and the mitochondrial interior. APP enters and obstructs the TOM40 pore, inhibiting import of OXPHOS-related proteins and disrupting the mitochondrial redox balance. Other pathogenic proteins, such as Aβ and alpha-synuclein, readily pass through the pore and cause toxic effects by directly inhibiting mitochondrial enzymes. Healthy mitochondria normally import and degrade the PD-related protein Pink1, but Pink1 exits mitochondria if the membrane potential collapses and initiates Parkin-mediated mitophagy. Under normal circumstances, this process helps clear dysfunctional mitochondria and contributes to cellular health, but PINK1 mutations associated with PD exit mitochondria with intact membrane potentials, disrupting mitochondrial dynamics, leading to pathology. Thus, TOM40 plays a central role in the mitochondrial dysfunction that underlies age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Learning about the factors that control TOM40 levels and activity, and how TOM40, specifically, and the TOM complex, generally, interacts with potentially pathogenic

  10. Frequency band-importance functions for auditory and auditory-visual speech recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grant, Ken W.

    2005-04-01

    In many everyday listening environments, speech communication involves the integration of both acoustic and visual speech cues. This is especially true in noisy and reverberant environments where the speech signal is highly degraded, or when the listener has a hearing impairment. Understanding the mechanisms involved in auditory-visual integration is a primary interest of this work. Of particular interest is whether listeners are able to allocate their attention to various frequency regions of the speech signal differently under auditory-visual conditions and auditory-alone conditions. For auditory speech recognition, the most important frequency regions tend to be around 1500-3000 Hz, corresponding roughly to important acoustic cues for place of articulation. The purpose of this study is to determine the most important frequency region under auditory-visual speech conditions. Frequency band-importance functions for auditory and auditory-visual conditions were obtained by having subjects identify speech tokens under conditions where the speech-to-noise ratio of different parts of the speech spectrum is independently and randomly varied on every trial. Point biserial correlations were computed for each separate spectral region and the normalized correlations are interpreted as weights indicating the importance of each region. Relations among frequency-importance functions for auditory and auditory-visual conditions will be discussed.

  11. Bilateral cochlear implants in children: Effects of auditory experience and deprivation on auditory perception.

    PubMed

    Litovsky, Ruth Y; Gordon, Karen

    2016-08-01

    Spatial hearing skills are essential for children as they grow, learn and play. These skills provide critical cues for determining the locations of sources in the environment, and enable segregation of important sounds, such as speech, from background maskers or interferers. Spatial hearing depends on availability of monaural cues and binaural cues. The latter result from integration of inputs arriving at the two ears from sounds that vary in location. The binaural system has exquisite mechanisms for capturing differences between the ears in both time of arrival and intensity. The major cues that are thus referred to as being vital for binaural hearing are: interaural differences in time (ITDs) and interaural differences in levels (ILDs). In children with normal hearing (NH), spatial hearing abilities are fairly well developed by age 4-5 years. In contrast, most children who are deaf and hear through cochlear implants (CIs) do not have an opportunity to experience normal, binaural acoustic hearing early in life. These children may function by having to utilize auditory cues that are degraded with regard to numerous stimulus features. In recent years there has been a notable increase in the number of children receiving bilateral CIs, and evidence suggests that while having two CIs helps them function better than when listening through a single CI, these children generally perform worse than their NH peers. This paper reviews some of the recent work on bilaterally implanted children. The focus is on measures of spatial hearing, including sound localization, release from masking for speech understanding in noise and binaural sensitivity using research processors. Data from behavioral and electrophysiological studies are included, with a focus on the recent work of the authors and their collaborators. The effects of auditory plasticity and deprivation on the emergence of binaural and spatial hearing are discussed along with evidence for reorganized processing from both

  12. Auditory pattern perception in 'split brain' patients.

    PubMed

    Musiek, F E; Pinheiro, M L; Wilson, D H

    1980-10-01

    Three "split brain" subjects with normal peripheral hearing were tested on identifying monaurally presented auditory intensity and frequency patterns. One subject was tested before commissurotomy, ten days later, and one year after surgery. Results indicated that sectioning the corpus callosum dramatically affects the ability to verbally report both intensity and frequency patterns. However, the ability of the subjects to correctly "hum" frequency patterns was not impaired. Thus, it appears for a correct verbal report of an auditory pattern, interhemispheric transfer of acoustic information is required, while "humming" the pattern does not. Further application of this finding implicates auditory pattern tasks as as a potentially valuable test for detecting problems of higher auditory processing, particularly those affecting interhemispheric interaction. PMID:7417089

  13. Auditory stimulation and cardiac autonomic regulation

    PubMed Central

    Valenti, Vitor E.; Guida, Heraldo L.; Frizzo, Ana C. F.; Cardoso, Ana C. V.; Vanderlei, Luiz Carlos M.; de Abreu, Luiz Carlos

    2012-01-01

    Previous studies have already demonstrated that auditory stimulation with music influences the cardiovascular system. In this study, we described the relationship between musical auditory stimulation and heart rate variability. Searches were performed with the Medline, SciELO, Lilacs and Cochrane databases using the following keywords: “auditory stimulation”, “autonomic nervous system”, “music” and “heart rate variability”. The selected studies indicated that there is a strong correlation between noise intensity and vagal-sympathetic balance. Additionally, it was reported that music therapy improved heart rate variability in anthracycline-treated breast cancer patients. It was hypothesized that dopamine release in the striatal system induced by pleasurable songs is involved in cardiac autonomic regulation. Musical auditory stimulation influences heart rate variability through a neural mechanism that is not well understood. Further studies are necessary to develop new therapies to treat cardiovascular disorders. PMID:22948465

  14. Auditory pathways: are 'what' and 'where' appropriate?

    PubMed

    Hall, Deborah A

    2003-05-13

    New evidence confirms that the auditory system encompasses temporal, parietal and frontal brain regions, some of which partly overlap with the visual system. But common assumptions about the functional homologies between sensory systems may be misleading. PMID:12747854

  15. Reconstructing speech from human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Pasley, Brian N; David, Stephen V; Mesgarani, Nima; Flinker, Adeen; Shamma, Shihab A; Crone, Nathan E; Knight, Robert T; Chang, Edward F

    2012-01-01

    How the human auditory system extracts perceptually relevant acoustic features of speech is unknown. To address this question, we used intracranial recordings from nonprimary auditory cortex in the human superior temporal gyrus to determine what acoustic information in speech sounds can be reconstructed from population neural activity. We found that slow and intermediate temporal fluctuations, such as those corresponding to syllable rate, were accurately reconstructed using a linear model based on the auditory spectrogram. However, reconstruction of fast temporal fluctuations, such as syllable onsets and offsets, required a nonlinear sound representation based on temporal modulation energy. Reconstruction accuracy was highest within the range of spectro-temporal fluctuations that have been found to be critical for speech intelligibility. The decoded speech representations allowed readout and identification of individual words directly from brain activity during single trial sound presentations. These findings reveal neural encoding mechanisms of speech acoustic parameters in higher order human auditory cortex. PMID:22303281

  16. Reconstructing Speech from Human Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Pasley, Brian N.; David, Stephen V.; Mesgarani, Nima; Flinker, Adeen; Shamma, Shihab A.; Crone, Nathan E.; Knight, Robert T.; Chang, Edward F.

    2012-01-01

    How the human auditory system extracts perceptually relevant acoustic features of speech is unknown. To address this question, we used intracranial recordings from nonprimary auditory cortex in the human superior temporal gyrus to determine what acoustic information in speech sounds can be reconstructed from population neural activity. We found that slow and intermediate temporal fluctuations, such as those corresponding to syllable rate, were accurately reconstructed using a linear model based on the auditory spectrogram. However, reconstruction of fast temporal fluctuations, such as syllable onsets and offsets, required a nonlinear sound representation based on temporal modulation energy. Reconstruction accuracy was highest within the range of spectro-temporal fluctuations that have been found to be critical for speech intelligibility. The decoded speech representations allowed readout and identification of individual words directly from brain activity during single trial sound presentations. These findings reveal neural encoding mechanisms of speech acoustic parameters in higher order human auditory cortex. PMID:22303281

  17. The Goldilocks effect in infant auditory attention.

    PubMed

    Kidd, Celeste; Piantadosi, Steven T; Aslin, Richard N

    2014-01-01

    Infants must learn about many cognitive domains (e.g., language, music) from auditory statistics, yet capacity limits on their cognitive resources restrict the quantity that they can encode. Previous research has established that infants can attend to only a subset of available acoustic input. Yet few previous studies have directly examined infant auditory attention, and none have directly tested theorized mechanisms of attentional selection based on stimulus complexity. This work utilizes model-based behavioral methods that were recently developed to examine visual attention in infants (e.g., Kidd, Piantadosi, & Aslin, 2012). The present results demonstrate that 7- to 8-month-old infants selectively attend to nonsocial auditory stimuli that are intermediately predictable/complex with respect to their current implicit beliefs and expectations. These findings provide evidence of a broad principle of infant attention across modalities and suggest that sound-to-sound transitional statistics heavily influence the allocation of auditory attention in human infants. PMID:24990627

  18. In search of an auditory engram

    PubMed Central

    Fritz, Jonathan; Mishkin, Mortimer; Saunders, Richard C.

    2005-01-01

    Monkeys trained preoperatively on a task designed to assess auditory recognition memory were impaired after removal of either the rostral superior temporal gyrus or the medial temporal lobe but were unaffected by lesions of the rhinal cortex. Behavioral analysis indicated that this result occurred because the monkeys did not or could not use long-term auditory recognition, and so depended instead on short-term working memory, which is unaffected by rhinal lesions. The findings suggest that monkeys may be unable to place representations of auditory stimuli into a long-term store and thus question whether the monkey's cerebral memory mechanisms in audition are intrinsically different from those in other sensory modalities. Furthermore, it raises the possibility that language is unique to humans not only because it depends on speech but also because it requires long-term auditory memory. PMID:15967995

  19. Characterizing a neurodegenerative syndrome: primary progressive apraxia of speech

    PubMed Central

    Duffy, Joseph R.; Strand, Edythe A.; Machulda, Mary M.; Senjem, Matthew L.; Master, Ankit V.; Lowe, Val J.; Jack, Clifford R.; Whitwell, Jennifer L.

    2012-01-01

    Apraxia of speech is a disorder of speech motor planning and/or programming that is distinguishable from aphasia and dysarthria. It most commonly results from vascular insults but can occur in degenerative diseases where it has typically been subsumed under aphasia, or it occurs in the context of more widespread neurodegeneration. The aim of this study was to determine whether apraxia of speech can present as an isolated sign of neurodegenerative disease. Between July 2010 and July 2011, 37 subjects with a neurodegenerative speech and language disorder were prospectively recruited and underwent detailed speech and language, neurological, neuropsychological and neuroimaging testing. The neuroimaging battery included 3.0 tesla volumetric head magnetic resonance imaging, [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose and [11C] Pittsburg compound B positron emission tomography scanning. Twelve subjects were identified as having apraxia of speech without any signs of aphasia based on a comprehensive battery of language tests; hence, none met criteria for primary progressive aphasia. These subjects with primary progressive apraxia of speech included eight females and four males, with a mean age of onset of 73 years (range: 49–82). There were no specific additional shared patterns of neurological or neuropsychological impairment in the subjects with primary progressive apraxia of speech, but there was individual variability. Some subjects, for example, had mild features of behavioural change, executive dysfunction, limb apraxia or Parkinsonism. Voxel-based morphometry of grey matter revealed focal atrophy of superior lateral premotor cortex and supplementary motor area. Voxel-based morphometry of white matter showed volume loss in these same regions but with extension of loss involving the inferior premotor cortex and body of the corpus callosum. These same areas of white matter loss were observed with diffusion tensor imaging analysis, which also demonstrated reduced fractional anisotropy

  20. A Neurodegenerative Vascular Burden Index and the Impact on Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Heinzel, Sebastian; Liepelt-Scarfone, Inga; Roeben, Benjamin; Nasi-Kordhishti, Isabella; Suenkel, Ulrike; Wurster, Isabel; Brockmann, Kathrin; Fritsche, Andreas; Niebler, Raphael; Metzger, Florian G.; Eschweiler, Gerhard W.; Fallgatter, Andreas J.; Maetzler, Walter; Berg, Daniela

    2014-01-01

    A wide range of vascular burden factors has been identified to impact vascular function and structure as indicated by carotid intima–media thickness (IMT). On the basis of their impact on IMT, vascular factors may be selected and clustered in a vascular burden index (VBI). Since many vascular factors increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a multifactorial neurodegenerative VBI may be related to early pathological processes in AD and cognitive decline in its preclinical stages. We investigated an elderly cohort at risk for neurodegeneration (TREND study, n = 1102) for the multifactorial influence of vascular burden factors on IMT measured by ultrasound. To create a VBI for this cohort, vascular factors and their definitions (considering medical history, medication, and/or blood marker data) were selected based on their statistical effects on IMT in multiple regressions including age and sex. The impact of the VBI on cognitive performance was assessed using the Trail-Making Test (TMT) and the consortium to establish a registry for Alzheimer’s disease (CERAD) neuropsychological battery. IMT was significantly predicted by age (standardized β = 0.26), sex (0.09; males > females) and the factors included in the VBI: obesity (0.18), hypertension (0.14), smoking (0.08), diabetes (0.07), and atherosclerosis (0.05), whereas other cardiovascular diseases or hypercholesterolemia were not significant. Individuals with 2 or more VBI factors compared to individuals without had an odds ratio of 3.17 regarding overly increased IMT ( ≥ 1.0 mm). The VBI showed an impact on executive control [log(TMT B−A), p = 0.047] and a trend toward decreased global cognitive function (CERAD total score, p = 0.057) independent of age, sex, and education. A VBI established on the basis of IMT may help to identify individuals with overly increased vascular burden linked to decreased cognitive function indicating neurodegenerative processes. The longitudinal

  1. Instruments for assessment of auditory hallucinations.

    PubMed

    Frederick, J A; Killeen, M R

    1998-10-01

    The study of individual symptoms of schizophrenia, such as auditory hallucinations, can contribute to effective treatment strategies. We review existing instruments for the assessment of characteristics and dimensions of auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders and describe their psychometric properties and implications for their use in clinical research and practice. In addition, three widely used global measurement scales for symptoms of schizophrenia, each of which contain questions that pertain to hallucinations, are included. PMID:9793212

  2. Music perception, pitch, and the auditory system

    PubMed Central

    McDermott, Josh H.; Oxenham, Andrew J.

    2008-01-01

    The perception of music depends on many culture-specific factors, but is also constrained by properties of the auditory system. This has been best characterized for those aspects of music that involve pitch. Pitch sequences are heard in terms of relative, as well as absolute, pitch. Pitch combinations give rise to emergent properties not present in the component notes. In this review we discuss the basic auditory mechanisms contributing to these and other perceptual effects in music. PMID:18824100

  3. Using auditory pre-information to solve the cocktail-party problem: electrophysiological evidence for age-specific differences

    PubMed Central

    Getzmann, Stephan; Lewald, Jörg; Falkenstein, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Speech understanding in complex and dynamic listening environments requires (a) auditory scene analysis, namely auditory object formation and segregation, and (b) allocation of the attentional focus to the talker of interest. There is evidence that pre-information is actively used to facilitate these two aspects of the so-called “cocktail-party” problem. Here, a simulated multi-talker scenario was combined with electroencephalography to study scene analysis and allocation of attention in young and middle-aged adults. Sequences of short words (combinations of brief company names and stock-price values) from four talkers at different locations were simultaneously presented, and the detection of target names and the discrimination between critical target values were assessed. Immediately prior to speech sequences, auditory pre-information was provided via cues that either prepared auditory scene analysis or attentional focusing, or non-specific pre-information was given. While performance was generally better in younger than older participants, both age groups benefited from auditory pre-information. The analysis of the cue-related event-related potentials revealed age-specific differences in the use of pre-cues: Younger adults showed a pronounced N2 component, suggesting early inhibition of concurrent speech stimuli; older adults exhibited a stronger late P3 component, suggesting increased resource allocation to process the pre-information. In sum, the results argue for an age-specific utilization of auditory pre-information to improve listening in complex dynamic auditory environments. PMID:25540608

  4. Contribution of auditory nerve fibers to compound action potential of the auditory nerve.

    PubMed

    Bourien, Jérôme; Tang, Yong; Batrel, Charlène; Huet, Antoine; Lenoir, Marc; Ladrech, Sabine; Desmadryl, Gilles; Nouvian, Régis; Puel, Jean-Luc; Wang, Jing

    2014-09-01

    Sound-evoked compound action potential (CAP), which captures the synchronous activation of the auditory nerve fibers (ANFs), is commonly used to probe deafness in experimental and clinical settings. All ANFs are believed to contribute to CAP threshold and amplitude: low sound pressure levels activate the high-spontaneous rate (SR) fibers, and increasing levels gradually recruit medium- and then low-SR fibers. In this study, we quantitatively analyze the contribution of the ANFs to CAP 6 days after 30-min infusion of ouabain into the round window niche. Anatomic examination showed a progressive ablation of ANFs following increasing concentration of ouabain. CAP amplitude and threshold plotted against loss of ANFs revealed three ANF pools: 1) a highly ouabain-sensitive pool, which does not participate in either CAP threshold or amplitude, 2) a less sensitive pool, which only encoded CAP amplitude, and 3) a ouabain-resistant pool, required for CAP threshold and amplitude. Remarkably, distribution of the three pools was similar to the SR-based ANF distribution (low-, medium-, and high-SR fibers), suggesting that the low-SR fiber loss leaves the CAP unaffected. Single-unit recordings from the auditory nerve confirmed this hypothesis and further showed that it is due to the delayed and broad first spike latency distribution of low-SR fibers. In addition to unraveling the neural mechanisms that encode CAP, our computational simulation of an assembly of guinea pig ANFs generalizes and extends our experimental findings to different species of mammals. Altogether, our data demonstrate that substantial ANF loss can coexist with normal hearing threshold and even unchanged CAP amplitude. PMID:24848461

  5. Representation of frequency in the primary auditory field of the barn owl forebrain.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Y E; Knudsen, E I

    1996-12-01

    relative to these more peripheral auditory structures. 5. There was considerable interindividual variability both in the relative magnification of different frequency ranges and in the orientation of the tonotopic map in the brain. 6. These results suggest that the barn owl PAF, like the mammalian primary auditory cortex, is a general processor of auditory information that is involved in the analysis of both the meaning (such as species-specific vocalizations) and the location of auditory stimuli. In addition, the high degree of interindividual variability in the representation of frequency information suggests that the barn owl PAF, like the mammalian auditory cortex, is subject to modification by sensory experience. PMID:8985866

  6. Optogenetic stimulation of the auditory pathway

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, Victor H.; Gehrt, Anna; Reuter, Kirsten; Jing, Zhizi; Jeschke, Marcus; Mendoza Schulz, Alejandro; Hoch, Gerhard; Bartels, Matthias; Vogt, Gerhard; Garnham, Carolyn W.; Yawo, Hiromu; Fukazawa, Yugo; Augustine, George J.; Bamberg, Ernst; Kügler, Sebastian; Salditt, Tim; de Hoz, Livia; Strenzke, Nicola; Moser, Tobias

    2014-01-01

    Auditory prostheses can partially restore speech comprehension when hearing fails. Sound coding with current prostheses is based on electrical stimulation of auditory neurons and has limited frequency resolution due to broad current spread within the cochlea. In contrast, optical stimulation can be spatially confined, which may improve frequency resolution. Here, we used animal models to characterize optogenetic stimulation, which is the optical stimulation of neurons genetically engineered to express the light-gated ion channel channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2). Optogenetic stimulation of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) activated the auditory pathway, as demonstrated by recordings of single neuron and neuronal population responses. Furthermore, optogenetic stimulation of SGNs restored auditory activity in deaf mice. Approximation of the spatial spread of cochlear excitation by recording local field potentials (LFPs) in the inferior colliculus in response to suprathreshold optical, acoustic, and electrical stimuli indicated that optogenetic stimulation achieves better frequency resolution than monopolar electrical stimulation. Virus-mediated expression of a ChR2 variant with greater light sensitivity in SGNs reduced the amount of light required for responses and allowed neuronal spiking following stimulation up to 60 Hz. Our study demonstrates a strategy for optogenetic stimulation of the auditory pathway in rodents and lays the groundwork for future applications of cochlear optogenetics in auditory research and prosthetics. PMID:24509078

  7. Investigating bottom-up auditory attention

    PubMed Central

    Kaya, Emine Merve; Elhilali, Mounya

    2014-01-01

    Bottom-up attention is a sensory-driven selection mechanism that directs perception toward a subset of the stimulus that is considered salient, or attention-grabbing. Most studies of bottom-up auditory attention have adapted frameworks similar to visual attention models whereby local or global “contrast” is a central concept in defining salient elements in a scene. In the current study, we take a more fundamental approach to modeling auditory attention; providing the first examination of the space of auditory saliency spanning pitch, intensity and timbre; and shedding light on complex interactions among these features. Informed by psychoacoustic results, we develop a computational model of auditory saliency implementing a novel attentional framework, guided by processes hypothesized to take place in the auditory pathway. In particular, the model tests the hypothesis that perception tracks the evolution of sound events in a multidimensional feature space, and flags any deviation from background statistics as salient. Predictions from the model corroborate the relationship between bottom-up auditory attention and statistical inference, and argues for a potential role of predictive coding as mechanism for saliency detection in acoustic scenes. PMID:24904367

  8. Auditory Processing in Fragile X Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Rotschafer, Sarah E.; Razak, Khaleel A.

    2014-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is an inherited form of intellectual disability and autism. Among other symptoms, FXS patients demonstrate abnormalities in sensory processing and communication. Clinical, behavioral, and electrophysiological studies consistently show auditory hypersensitivity in humans with FXS. Consistent with observations in humans, the Fmr1 KO mouse model of FXS also shows evidence of altered auditory processing and communication deficiencies. A well-known and commonly used phenotype in pre-clinical studies of FXS is audiogenic seizures. In addition, increased acoustic startle response is seen in the Fmr1 KO mice. In vivo electrophysiological recordings indicate hyper-excitable responses, broader frequency tuning, and abnormal spectrotemporal processing in primary auditory cortex of Fmr1 KO mice. Thus, auditory hyper-excitability is a robust, reliable, and translatable biomarker in Fmr1 KO mice. Abnormal auditory evoked responses have been used as outcome measures to test therapeutics in FXS patients. Given that similarly abnormal responses are present in Fmr1 KO mice suggests that cellular mechanisms can be addressed. Sensory cortical deficits are relatively more tractable from a mechanistic perspective than more complex social behaviors that are typically studied in autism and FXS. The focus of this review is to bring together clinical, functional, and structural studies in humans with electrophysiological and behavioral studies in mice to make the case that auditory hypersensitivity provides a unique opportunity to integrate molecular, cellular, circuit level studies with behavioral outcomes in the search for therapeutics for FXS and other autism spectrum disorders. PMID:24550778

  9. Long Latency Auditory Evoked Potentials during Meditation.

    PubMed

    Telles, Shirley; Deepeshwar, Singh; Naveen, Kalkuni Visweswaraiah; Pailoor, Subramanya

    2015-10-01

    The auditory sensory pathway has been studied in meditators, using midlatency and short latency auditory evoked potentials. The present study evaluated long latency auditory evoked potentials (LLAEPs) during meditation. Sixty male participants, aged between 18 and 31 years (group mean±SD, 20.5±3.8 years), were assessed in 4 mental states based on descriptions in the traditional texts. They were (a) random thinking, (b) nonmeditative focusing, (c) meditative focusing, and (d) meditation. The order of the sessions was randomly assigned. The LLAEP components studied were P1 (40-60 ms), N1 (75-115 ms), P2 (120-180 ms), and N2 (180-280 ms). For each component, the peak amplitude and peak latency were measured from the prestimulus baseline. There was significant decrease in the peak latency of the P2 component during and after meditation (P<.001; analysis of variance and post hoc analysis with Bonferroni adjustment). The P1, P2, and N2 components showed a significant decrease in peak amplitudes during random thinking (P<.01; P<.001; P<.01, respectively) and nonmeditative focused thinking (P<.01; P<.01; P<.05, respectively). The results suggest that meditation facilitates the processing of information in the auditory association cortex, whereas the number of neurons recruited was smaller in random thinking and non-meditative focused thinking, at the level of the secondary auditory cortex, auditory association cortex and anterior cingulate cortex. PMID:25380593

  10. Conducting polymer electrodes for auditory brainstem implants

    PubMed Central

    Guex, Amélie A.; Vachicouras, Nicolas; Hight, Ariel E.; Brown, M. Christian; Lee, Daniel J.; Lacour, Stéphanie P.

    2015-01-01

    The auditory brainstem implant (ABI) restores hearing in patients with damaged auditory nerves. One of the main ideas to improve the efficacy of ABIs is to increase spatial specificity of stimulation, in order to minimize extra-auditory side-effects and to maximize the tonotopy of stimulation. This study reports on the development of a microfabricated conformable electrode array with small (100 μm diameter) electrode sites. The latter are coated with a conducting polymer, PEDOT:PSS, to offer high charge injection properties and to safely stimulate the auditory system with small stimulation sites. We report on the design and fabrication of the polymer implant, and characterize the coatings in physiological conditions in vitro and under mechanical deformation. We characterize the coating electrochemically and during bending tests. We present a proof of principle experiment where the auditory system is efficiently activated by the flexible polymeric interface in a rat model. These results demonstrate the potential of using conducting polymer coatings on small electrode sites for electrochemically safe and efficient stimulation of the central auditory system. PMID:26207184

  11. The Development of Auditory Perception in Children Following Auditory Brainstem Implantation

    PubMed Central

    Colletti, Liliana; Shannon, Robert V.; Colletti, Vittorio

    2014-01-01

    Auditory brainstem implants (ABI) can provide useful auditory perception and language development in deaf children who are not able to use a cochlear implant (CI). We prospectively followed-up a consecutive group of 64 deaf children up to 12 years following ABI implantation. The etiology of deafness in these children was: cochlear nerve aplasia in 49, auditory neuropathy in 1, cochlear malformations in 8, bilateral cochlear post-meningitic ossification in 3, NF2 in 2, and bilateral cochlear fractures due to a head injury in 1. Thirty five children had other congenital non-auditory disabilities. Twenty two children had previous CIs with no benefit. Fifty eight children were fitted with the Cochlear 24 ABI device and six with the MedEl ABI device and all children followed the same rehabilitation program. Auditory perceptual abilities were evaluated on the Categories of Auditory Performance (CAP) scale. No child was lost to follow-up and there were no exclusions from the study. All children showed significant improvement in auditory perception with implant experience. Seven children (11%) were able to achieve the highest score on the CAP test; they were able to converse on the telephone within 3 years of implantation. Twenty children (31.3%) achieved open set speech recognition (CAP score of 5 or greater) and 30 (46.9%) achieved a CAP level of 4 or greater. Of the 29 children without non-auditory disabilities, 18 (62%) achieved a CAP score of 5 or greater with the ABI. All children showed continued improvements in auditory skills over time. The long-term results of ABI implantation reveal significant auditory benefit in most children, and open set auditory recognition in many. PMID:25377987

  12. Oxidative Stress and Its Significant Roles in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Thanan, Raynoo; Oikawa, Shinji; Hiraku, Yusuke; Ohnishi, Shiho; Ma, Ning; Pinlaor, Somchai; Yongvanit, Puangrat; Kawanishi, Shosuke; Murata, Mariko

    2014-01-01

    Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species have been implicated in diverse pathophysiological conditions, including inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Accumulating evidence indicates that oxidative damage to biomolecules including lipids, proteins and DNA, contributes to these diseases. Previous studies suggest roles of lipid peroxidation and oxysterols in the development of neurodegenerative diseases and inflammation-related cancer. Our recent studies identifying and characterizing carbonylated proteins reveal oxidative damage to heat shock proteins in neurodegenerative disease models and inflammation-related cancer, suggesting dysfunction in their antioxidative properties. In neurodegenerative diseases, DNA damage may not only play a role in the induction of apoptosis, but also may inhibit cellular division via telomere shortening. Immunohistochemical analyses showed co-localization of oxidative/nitrative DNA lesions and stemness markers in the cells of inflammation-related cancers. Here, we review oxidative stress and its significant roles in neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. PMID:25547488

  13. Epigenetic Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders: Alzheimer and Parkinson Diseases.

    PubMed

    Irwin, Michael H; Moos, Walter H; Faller, Douglas V; Steliou, Kosta; Pinkert, Carl A

    2016-05-01

    Preclinical Research In this review, we discuss epigenetic-driven methods for treating neurodegenerative disorders associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, focusing on carnitinoid antioxidant-histone deacetylase inhibitors that show an ability to reinvigorate synaptic plasticity and protect against neuromotor decline in vivo. Aging remains a major risk factor in patients who progress to dementia, a clinical syndrome typified by decreased mental capacity, including impairments in memory, language skills, and executive function. Energy metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction are viewed as determinants in the aging process that may afford therapeutic targets for a host of disease conditions, the brain being primary in such thinking. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a core feature in the pathophysiology of both Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases and rare mitochondrial diseases. The potential of new therapies in this area extends to glaucoma and other ophthalmic disorders, migraine, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, systemic exertion intolerance disease, and chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment. An emerging and hopefully more promising approach to addressing these hard-to-treat diseases leverages their sensitivity to activation of master regulators of antioxidant and cytoprotective genes, antioxidant response elements, and mitophagy. Drug Dev Res 77 : 109-123, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26899010

  14. TAR DNA-binding protein 43 in neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Chen-Plotkin, Alice S.; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Trojanowski, John Q.

    2010-01-01

    In 2006, TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), a highly conserved nuclear protein, was identified as the major disease protein in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in the most common variant of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), FTLD-U, which is characterized by cytoplasmic inclusions that stain positive for ubiquitin but negative for tau and α-synuclein. Since then, rapid advances have been made in our understanding of the physiological function of TDP-43 and the role of this protein in neurodegeneration. These advances link ALS and FTLD-U (now designated FTLD-TDP) to a shared mechanism of disease. In this Review, we summarize the current evidence regarding the normal function of TDP-43 and the TDP-43 pathology observed in FTLD-TDP, ALS, and other neurodegenerative diseases wherein TDP-43 pathology co-occurs with other disease-specific lesions (for example, with amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer disease). Moreover, we discuss the accumulating data that support our view that FTLD-TDP and ALS represent two ends of a spectrum of primary TDP-43 proteinopathies. Finally, we comment on the importance of recent advances in TDP-43-related research to neurological practice, including the new opportunities to develop better diagnostics and disease-modifying therapies for ALS, FTLD-TDP, and related disorders exhibiting TDP-43 pathology. PMID:20234357

  15. Neurocardiovascular instability, hypotensive episodes, and MRI lesions in neurodegenerative dementia.

    PubMed

    Ballard, C; O'Brien, J; Barber, B; Scheltens, P; Shaw, F; McKeith, I; Kenny, R A

    2000-04-01

    We investigated whether carotid sinus hypersensitivity (CSH) and orthostatic hypotension (OH) were associated with a greater severity of hyperintensities on MRI scan in 30 patients with neurodegenerative dementia (17 dementia with Lewy bodies, 13 Alzheimer's disease), who had a detailed evaluation of OH and CSH during active standing and head-up tilt. Patients also underwent a 1.0 Tesla MRI scan, from which hyperintensities were rated on a standardized scale. A blood pressure (BP) drop > 30 mm Hg during carotid sinus massage or active standing was significantly associated with the severity of MRI hyperintensities in the deep white matter (OR 10.0, 95%; CI 1.8-55.7) and in the basal ganglia (OR 11.0, 95%; CI 1.2-99.5) but not in periventricular areas (OR 1.4, 95%; CI 0.3-1.8). Patients with the cardio-inhibitory form of CSH with the largest BP drops were the most at risk. Further longitudinal studies need to investigate the direction of causality to determine whether CSH or OH predispose to MRI hyperintensities and accelerate cognitive decline. PMID:10818535

  16. Molecular Pathological Classification of Neurodegenerative Diseases: Turning towards Precision Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Kovacs, Gabor G.

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) are characterized by selective dysfunction and loss of neurons associated with pathologically altered proteins that deposit in the human brain but also in peripheral organs. These proteins and their biochemical modifications can be potentially targeted for therapy or used as biomarkers. Despite a plethora of modifications demonstrated for different neurodegeneration-related proteins, such as amyloid-β, prion protein, tau, α-synuclein, TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), or fused in sarcoma protein (FUS), molecular classification of NDDs relies on detailed morphological evaluation of protein deposits, their distribution in the brain, and their correlation to clinical symptoms together with specific genetic alterations. A further facet of the neuropathology-based classification is the fact that many protein deposits show a hierarchical involvement of brain regions. This has been shown for Alzheimer and Parkinson disease and some forms of tauopathies and TDP-43 proteinopathies. The present paper aims to summarize current molecular classification of NDDs, focusing on the most relevant biochemical and morphological aspects. Since the combination of proteinopathies is frequent, definition of novel clusters of patients with NDDs needs to be considered in the era of precision medicine. Optimally, neuropathological categorizing of NDDs should be translated into in vivo detectable biomarkers to support better prediction of prognosis and stratification of patients for therapy trials. PMID:26848654

  17. Molecular Pathological Classification of Neurodegenerative Diseases: Turning towards Precision Medicine.

    PubMed

    Kovacs, Gabor G

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) are characterized by selective dysfunction and loss of neurons associated with pathologically altered proteins that deposit in the human brain but also in peripheral organs. These proteins and their biochemical modifications can be potentially targeted for therapy or used as biomarkers. Despite a plethora of modifications demonstrated for different neurodegeneration-related proteins, such as amyloid-β, prion protein, tau, α-synuclein, TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), or fused in sarcoma protein (FUS), molecular classification of NDDs relies on detailed morphological evaluation of protein deposits, their distribution in the brain, and their correlation to clinical symptoms together with specific genetic alterations. A further facet of the neuropathology-based classification is the fact that many protein deposits show a hierarchical involvement of brain regions. This has been shown for Alzheimer and Parkinson disease and some forms of tauopathies and TDP-43 proteinopathies. The present paper aims to summarize current molecular classification of NDDs, focusing on the most relevant biochemical and morphological aspects. Since the combination of proteinopathies is frequent, definition of novel clusters of patients with NDDs needs to be considered in the era of precision medicine. Optimally, neuropathological categorizing of NDDs should be translated into in vivo detectable biomarkers to support better prediction of prognosis and stratification of patients for therapy trials. PMID:26848654

  18. Mapping Brain Metals to Evaluate Therapies for Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Popescu, Bogdan Florin Gh; Nichol, Helen

    2013-01-01

    The brain is rich in metals and has a high metabolic rate, making it acutely vulnerable to the toxic effects of endogenously produced free radicals. The abundant metals, iron and copper, transfer single electrons as they cycle between their reduced (Fe2+, Cu1+) and oxidized (Fe3+, Cu2+) states making them powerful catalysts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Even redox inert zinc, if present in excess, can trigger ROS production indirectly by altering mitochondrial function. While metal chelators seem to improve the clinical outcome of several neurodegenerative diseases, their mechanisms of action remain obscure and the effects of long-term use are largely unknown. Most chelators are not specific to a single metal and could alter the distribution of multiple metals in the brain, leading to unexpected consequences over the long-term. We show here how X-ray fluorescence will be a valuable tool to examine the effect of chelators on the distribution and amount of metals in the brain. PMID:20553312

  19. Elusive roles for reactive astrocytes in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ben Haim, Lucile; Carrillo-de Sauvage, Maria-Angeles; Ceyzériat, Kelly; Escartin, Carole

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes play crucial roles in the brain and are involved in the neuroinflammatory response. They become reactive in response to virtually all pathological situations in the brain such as axotomy, ischemia, infection, and neurodegenerative diseases (ND). Astrocyte reactivity was originally characterized by morphological changes (hypertrophy, remodeling of processes) and the overexpression of the intermediate filament glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). However, it is unclear how the normal supportive functions of astrocytes are altered by their reactive state. In ND, in which neuronal dysfunction and astrocyte reactivity take place over several years or decades, the issue is even more complex and highly debated, with several conflicting reports published recently. In this review, we discuss studies addressing the contribution of reactive astrocytes to ND. We describe the molecular triggers leading to astrocyte reactivity during ND, examine how some key astrocyte functions may be enhanced or altered during the disease process, and discuss how astrocyte reactivity may globally affect ND progression. Finally we will consider the anticipated developments in this important field. With this review, we aim to show that the detailed study of reactive astrocytes may open new perspectives for ND. PMID:26283915

  20. Natural Compounds Preventing Neurodegenerative Diseases Through Autophagic Activation.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhe; Adachi, Hiroaki

    2016-06-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) are a group of intractable diseases that significantly affect human health. To date, the pathogenesis of NDDs is still poorly understood and effective disease-modifying therapies for NDDs have not been established. NDDs share the common morphological characteristic of the deposition of abnormal proteins in the nervous system, including neurons. Autophagy is one of the major processes by which damaged organelles and abnormal proteins are removed from cells. Impairment of autophagy has been found to be involved in the pathogenesis of NDDs, and the regulation of autophagy may become a therapeutic strategy for NDDs. In recent years, some active compounds from plants have been found to regulate autophagy and exert neuroprotection against NDDs, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, spinocerebellar ataxia 3, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, via activating autophagy. In this paper, we review recent advances in the use of active ingredients from plants for the regulation of autophagy and treatment of NDDs. PMID:27302727